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Okaloosa County Court Records

For every legal action initiated in Okaloosa County, a corresponding court file is created to log the events and activities of the case. This comprehensive documentation of legal proceedings by the courts is mandated under Title V of the Florida Statutes. It primarily promotes transparency and accountability within the judicial system, bolstering public confidence and oversight. Also, court records provide an official account of judicial rulings, establishing precedents that can be cited or referenced in future cases.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller indexes and maintains all Okaloosa County court records. These documents form part of the Florida court records and encompass pleadings, progress dockets, responses, documentary exhibits, motions, orders, judgments, and transcripts.

Are Court Records Public in Okaloosa County?

Yes. Per Florida Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420, records relating to an Okaloosa County court's adjudicative functions are open for public inspection and copying. Nonetheless, there are several exceptions to the public's right of access.

The court system often limits general access to comply with privacy laws, preserve the integrity of the justice process, or prevent the dissemination of sensitive or confidential content. Adoption, juvenile dependency, grand jury, and sealed records are some examples of confidential court records in Okaloosa.

Rules 2.420(c) and (d) list all exempt court records and the circumstances under which certain documents or files may be released publicly.

Okaloosa County Court Records Search

Okaloosa County court records exist in diverse formats, including stenographic tapes, electronically recorded data, videotapes, and paper. These records can be obtained from the following places:

  • The Okaloosa County Clerk of the Circuit Court's office.
  • A third-party aggregator website.

Okaloosa County Court Records Search by Name

A name search is one method by which members of the public can retrieve Okaloosa County court records. This type of inquiry can be made at the courthouse where a case was filed or through the local Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller's office.

A successful name search requires at least the last name of a case party, who may be the defendant, plaintiff, or attorney of record. However, other parameters, such as the case party's first and middle name, case type, document type, and filing date, can be used to constrain the search.

Members of the public have the following options to conduct an Okaloosa court records search by name:

  • Access the Clerk's online case management system to search with a case participant's last or first name, or both.
  • Mail, hand-deliver, or email a written request to the Clerk's office in the Crestview or Fort Walton Beach courthouses. The name of the respective defendant or plaintiff should be clearly stated.
  • Visit the Clerk's customer service desk at the Okaloosa County Courthouse or Courthouse Annex Extension.

Per the Florida Statute 28.24 and Florida Rule 2.420, certain charges apply to obtain a copy of any court record. However, record inspections are typically provided to the requester at no cost.

Okaloosa County Courts

Okaloosa belongs to Florida's First Judicial Circuit, along with the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Walton. The county's judicial system comprises circuit and county courts, which hear legal matters at the following locations:

 

Okaloosa County Courthouse
101 East James Lee Boulevard
Crestview, FL 32536
Phone: (850) 689-5000

 

 

Courthouse Annex Extension
1940 Lewis Turner Boulevard
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Phone: (850) 651-7200

Okaloosa County Superior Court Case Search

No formally designated "superior court" exists in Okaloosa County. However, the county has a circuit court with jurisdiction comparable to that of a superior court in the states that have them.

The circuit court is Florida's highest trial court, a court of general jurisdiction responsible for presiding over a wide range of legal claims. The court has original exclusive jurisdiction in matters such as probate, dissolution of marriage, civil actions with over $50,000 in controversy (excluding interests and costs), felonies, certain misdemeanors, equity, domestic violence, juvenile dependency, and the legality of tax assessments, among others.

Records of the Okaloosa Circuit Court are preserved and dispensed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller's office. Individuals can look up these records as follows:

  • On a browser, navigate to the Clerk's Case Search portal.
  • Accept the disclaimer at the bottom of the site.
  • Input a case party's name, case number, or citation number into the appropriate fields. An option to narrow the search results by filing date range, disposition date range, or court type (circuit civil, municipal ordinance, parking, small claims) is also available.
  • Answer the reCAPTCHA and select "Search".

The system tabulates the search results by summary, name, party type, case number, status, citation number, and booking number. Upon locating the relevant court case, a user can click the case number or party's name to view additional information, including charges/dispositions, fees/assessments, and the case events.

Users can also view court dockets online by selecting "Court Docket" above "Recent Searches" to the left of the screen.

However, researchers must note that a user account is mandatory to view imaged court records online. The intended user must complete the Okaloosa County Access Agreement form and email it to the Clerk's office at onlineaccess@okaloosaclerk.com. The office may take up to three business days to email an applicant's login credentials.

Okaloosa County District Court Records

In several US jurisdictions, a county district court is a local tribunal limited by statute to hear only specific case types. No courts are explicitly named "district courts" in Okaloosa, but the region has a county court that serves as Florida's trial court of limited jurisdiction.

The Okaloosa County Court has original jurisdiction over all criminal misdemeanors, except where there is a concurrent felony (in which case, the matter is referred to the circuit court). The court also oversees criminal traffic and municipal/county ordinance violations. Meanwhile, the court's civil jurisdiction extends to all claims below $50,000, excluding interest and costs.

Records from the Okaloosa County Court can be requested from the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller's office. The custodian offers the following record retrieval methods:

  • Access the online Case Search portal (explained in the previous section)
  • Complete a Request for Court Records to obtain copies of Okaloosa County court documents not presently available online. The form can be submitted by email or mail. Mail requesters must attach a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive their copies.
  • Request an electronically certified court document via the Clerk's E-Certify portal.
  • Stop by the Clerk's office in the Fort Walton Beach or Crestview courthouses to purchase or view copies of paper court records. The Clerk's Request for Court Records form can be completed before a visit to expedite the search process.

The following fees apply to obtain a court record in Okaloosa:

  • $1 per page for copies
  • $2 per document for certification
  • $2 per year per name searched

Other research and copy fees are listed in the Clerk's fee schedule (under "Service Charges for All Divisions").

Okaloosa County Criminal Records

Members of the public can obtain Okaloosa County criminal records maintained by law enforcement from the local sheriff's office. Public access is subject to Florida's Sunshine Law, with certain records (e.g., juvenile and victim information) prohibited from public release.

The Records Section of the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office accepts criminal records requests by phone, in person, or via email. In most cases, information is provided at no cost to the public, but fees may be incurred for complex or extensive searches. Below are the department's contact details:

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Headquarters
50 2nd Street
Shalimar, FL 32579
Phone: (850) 651-7434
Email: recordsrequest@sheriff-okaloosa.org

The sheriff's office also disseminates certain Okaloosa County arrest records online, including mugshots and charges.

It is important to note that an Okaloosa criminal records search will only retrieve information about arrests made within the county. Persons seeking arrests in another Florida county should contact that jurisdiction's sheriff's office or submit a request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE charges $24 for each statewide search (additional processing fees may apply).

Okaloosa County Criminal Court Case Lookup

The criminal courts (circuit criminal and county criminal courts) in Okaloosa County hear three main types of actions: criminal traffic, misdemeanor, and felony.

To find records generated in the criminal courts, a person can submit a written or oral request to the Okaloosa Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller's office, as detailed above. Another option is to access the Clerk's web-based case management system to look up criminal court case records. No username or password is needed to access the system, but registration is required to view electronic case documents.

Get Okaloosa County Civil Court Records

Okaloosa civil court records bear an official account of noncriminal actions heard in the county's civil courts. These include quiet title, small claims, declaratory judgments, eminent domain, personal injury, breach of contract, product liability, injunctions, and tax-related cases.

The Okaloosa Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller is the official custodian of the county's civil court records. Interested parties can look up these records via the Clerk's Case Search portal or stop by any of the Clerk's office locations during regular business hours.

Copies can also be requested through the Clerk's E-Certify platform or by submitting a written request by mail or email to the Clerk's office. A name or case number is typically needed for a civil court records inquiry.

Okaloosa County Family Court Records

The Family Court Division of the Florida First Judicial Circuit presides over all domestic matters brought to the Okaloosa County judicial system. Examples of these cases are divorce (dissolution of marriage), name change, child custody, child support, paternity, domestic and repeat violence, adoption, and annulment.

A person may query the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller's office to retrieve records of family law cases filed in Okaloosa County. The Clerk offers several retrieval options, including online, in-person, mail, or email. However, not all family court records generated in Okaloosa County are disclosed to the public. A requester may need to be a case participant or obtain a court order to view some family case files.

Okaloosa Dissolution of Marriage Records

Individuals seeking Okaloosa dissolution of marriage (divorce or annulment) records can inquire at the local Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller's office. The Clerk does not implement special procedures for submitting such requests, allowing the records to be retrieved like any other court file.

In other words, individuals can search the Clerk's online case management system or visit an office location during regular working hours to view or purchase records. They can also order electronically certified copies via E-Certify or purchase plain or certified copies by submitting a written Request for Court Records. The Clerk's office charges requesters $2 plus $1 per page to certify a document. Regular copies cost $1 per page.

Okaloosa County Marriage and Divorce Records

The Okaloosa Clerk of the Circuit Court's office preserves marriage and divorce records for Okaloosa County. The previous header outlines guidelines for obtaining Okaloosa divorce records, including the final judgment. One may also purchase a divorce record—an abstract, not the actual judgment—from the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics. Existing record years range from June 6, 1927, to date.

Meanwhile, those searching for Okaloosa County marriage records should follow these steps:

  • Go to the Clerk's website.
  • Select "Search Official Records" from the website homepage.
  • Accept the disclaimer on the next page.
  • Select "Marriage Search and Application".
  • Select "Marriage Records Search".
  • In the search fields, enter a spouse's name, a recording date range, or the marriage date range and click "Search".

The system will return a list of records matching the user's query. Available information includes the document type (e.g., Okaloosa County marriage certificate), document number, number of pages, ceremony date, marriage location, party names, and recording date. An inquirer can also download or print a copy of the marriage document (uncertified) for free.

Persons requiring certified copies of an Okaloosa County marriage license can stop by the Clerk's office during business hours to submit a request. Each copy costs $3. If a physical visit is not feasible, the interested party can order and pay online via the Clerk's E-Certify portal, so long as the marriage is more than 30 days old and occurred after 1983. For pre-1983 Okaloosa marriage records, an in-person or written request is necessary. Email requests for such documents are also accepted by the Clerk's office at request@okaloosaclerk.com.

Okaloosa County Birth and Death Records

Birth and death records constitute the Okaloosa County vital records. These documents serve critical purposes. For example, birth records help prove a person's identity in legal or formal settings. Meanwhile, death records are useful for settling a decedent's estate and claiming life insurance or pension benefits. The State Department of Health in Okaloosa County maintains and disseminates these records to eligible parties.

Okaloosa County Birth Records

Each Okaloosa County birth certificate ordered through the local Vital Statistics Office costs $15. Per FS 382.025, only the registrant (18 years or older), a listed parent, a listed guardian, a legal representative, or a party authorized by a legally entitled person can obtain a birth record. Such individuals must submit an Application for Florida Birth Record and a valid government-issued photo ID (driver's license, passport, military ID) in person, by mail, fax, or online via an approved private vendor. An Affidavit to Release Birth Certificate must accompany the application to authorize another person to obtain the certificate.

Below are the relevant addresses:

Walk-in/Mail:
Okaloosa County Vital Records
221 Hospital Drive Northeast
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Fax: (850) 833-9275

Each mail request must include a self-addressed stamped envelope. The Vital Records Office can be reached at (850) 833-9255 for further inquiries.

Okaloosa County birth records can also be requested from the Okaloosa County Tax Collector's offices in person. The office only issues to the registrant (at least 18 years old) or a parent listed on the record. In addition to the $15 base fee, the Tax Collector charges a $6.25 surcharge per request.

Okaloosa County Death Records

The local Vital Statistics Office charges $15 to issue an Okaloosa County death certificate. Death records without cause of death are considered Okaloosa County public records. They can be retrieved by submitting an Application for Florida Death Record, the applicable fee, and a current, government-issued photo ID by mail, in person, or by Fax: (see contact details above). Requests can also be submitted through the office's approved third-party vendor. Only eligible parties, such as an immediate family member, can request death records with the cause of death from the Vital Statistics Office.

Notably, death certificates can also be obtained from the Okaloosa Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, provided a certificate was filed in the county's official records. A copy costs $1 per page and $2 for certification, if needed.

Okaloosa County Probate Court Records

Probate refers to all legal proceedings pertaining to the administration of a decedent's estate, including the distribution of assets and payment of pending debts. The probate court in Okaloosa, a division of the circuit court, also hears guardianship matters.

In Okaloosa County, probate actions are filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court's office, which is also responsible for maintaining related records per the law. Individuals can request probate court documents from the Clerk's office using various channels, including online (Case Search or E-Certify), in person, by mail, and via email. However, certain documents, like estate inventories and accountings, are confidential.

Okaloosa County Property Records

Okaloosa County property records contain pertinent details about real estate within the county, including its ownership, transfer, taxation, and encumbrances. A few local authorities maintain and distribute these records.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller is the official custodian of all recorded property instruments, including deeds, leases, assignments, notices of liens, and mortgages. The public can access the Clerk's Official Records Search portal to look up property records by name, legal description, book/page number, document type, etc. A link to the portal is provided on the homepage of the Clerk's official website.

Alternatively, one may inquire at the Clerk's office during working hours or via email at request@okaloosaclerk.com. Inquirers can also request electronically certified property documents through the Clerk's E-Certify portal. Copy requests attract certain fees: $1 per page and $2 for certification.

Another official source of Okaloosa property records is the Okaloosa County Property Appraiser's Office (OCPA). The office's website features a Property Search database that can be accessed with varying parameters, such as an owner's name, parcel number, and property address. Individuals can also contact the property appraiser at (850) 651-7240 for property information inquiries.

Okaloosa County Court Records Online

Besides government repositories, Okaloosa County court records can be sourced from private companies that collate and sell public records to interested persons (commonly called third-party websites).

The primary advantage of a third-party site like Floridacourtrecords.us is that a user is not restricted geographically or by court jurisdiction, allowing them to access a broader range of public records. Further, these websites have user-friendly interfaces and can often be searched for free from the comfort of one's home or office. However, users may incur fees to acquire extensive records.

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  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!