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Polk County Court Records

Polk County Court records files consist of paperwork, files, and other legal documents produced during court proceedings by the Polk Circuit and County Courts. Such records include any in-court document produced using methods approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Some examples include exhibits held by the clerk and transcripts submitted to the court clerk. Since court records are part of Polk County Court Records, individuals can only access court records following state rules. Court clerks must verify whether the requested documents are available upon request. Court records are essential for maintaining accountability, transparency, and sufficient documentation.

Are Court Records Public in Polk County?

According to Florida’s Sunshine Law, Polk County court records are generally accessible to the public. The Polk County Clerk of Court’s office is responsible for accepting requests from the general public for copies of district court case records.

When you visit the county clerk's office, the clerk may give you the following responses based on the availability of the court record:

  • Verify the record's accessibility and give a rough delivery timeframe.
  • Please provide more details to help with the search.
  • Inform the requester that there is no record for them.
  • Suggest that requesters use a different self-service tool.

Note: If providing a record stresses the department's resources, the county clerk may refuse a request for Polk County court records. The county clerk may also turn down requests for documents that include protected, sealed, or secret information. This also applies to requests for documents containing personal information such as social security numbers, home addresses, or bank accounts.

Polk County Court Records Search

Interested individuals can search for court records using the public records search portal provided by the Polk County Clerk of Court’s office. Court documents from all jurisdictions, including Polk County, are accessible to the general public. Anyone can conduct searches by name, case ID, or citation number.

You can also make searches physically at the Polk County Clerk of Courts’ office at:

Polk County Clerk of Courts
255 N. Broadway Ave.
Bartow, FL 33830-3912

Bring the necessary information to complete a court record search with you. This includes the names of parties, case numbers, and case types.

Polk County Court Records Search by Name

The public records search portal has a search option that allows interested persons to search for court records by name. You must provide the designated subject's first, middle, and last name (if known). You should then select the type of case (criminal, civil, small claims, juvenile, or traffic) and the search's parameters (limited to Polk County or the entire state).

Polk County Courts

Polk County’s court system consists of a district court split into different divisions. These divisions include the following:

  • Circuit Court: This court oversees civil and criminal cases beyond the jurisdiction of the County Court of Polk County. This includes felonies and lesser-included offenses.
  • County Court: This court handles both civil and criminal cases. However, they have limited jurisdiction over certain cases. The County Courts hears most misdemeanors, violations of municipal and county ordinances, and some juvenile traffic cases.

Polk County District Court Records

The Polk County Circuit and County courts oversee a wide range of cases, such as:

  • Civil Cases: They handle cases involving contracts, property disputes, personal injury, business lawsuits, and landlord-tenant issues.
  • Family Law Cases: Both courts hear cases involving family-related matters. The Circuit court hears divorce, child custody, and child support cases. The County Court, on the other hand, presides over uncontested divorce and civil dissolution cases.
  • Criminal Cases: Felonies (serious crimes) and misdemeanors (lesser offenses) like theft, assault, and traffic violations are also brought to both the Polk County Circuit and County courts.
  • Probate Matters: Probate cases are mainly handled by the Circuit Court. The court presides over cases regarding will administration, intestate succession (no will), guardianship, and conservatorship.

There are a few ways to access records from the above case types. Interested parties can access case records through the Polk County Clerk of Court public records search portal. However, this only has records of ongoing cases.

Note: Some sensitive information may be redacted to protect privacy, especially in the case of vulnerable persons like children or the abused.

Polk County Criminal Records

According to Section 119.07(1)a of the Sunshine Law, criminal records in Polk County are generally publicly available. Polk County residents can search for criminal records in different ways since multiple agencies maintain such records. Residents can search for criminal records at the:

For example, you can use the Polk Records Online (PRO) platform, which accesses the database of criminal records from the court docket to search criminal records. The clerk of courts allows both public and login access to these records.

Polk County Criminal Court Case Lookup

When conducting a Polk County criminal court case lookup, you must identify the court overseeing the case. This could either be the Circuit Court or the County Court. Once you have determined that, use the public records search portal provided by the court clerk.

You can also look up criminal court cases at the following address:

Polk County Courthouse

255 North Broadway Avenue
Bartow, FL, 33830

The courthouse allows residents to contact them through phone at (863) 534-4844 and via email at publicrecords@sao10.com.

Get Polk County Civil Court Records

Polk County civil court records contain records and papers related to civil cases that were filed in the Circuit and County Courts. Residents can obtain copies of these records in person by going to the Clerk of Court office.

Inquiries can also be made through the Clerk of Court public records search portal for civil court case records. Residents have public access to the records on the portal without needing to register. Interested parties can also get Polk County civil court records at the following address:

Polk County Courthouse

255 North Broadway Avenue
Bartow, FL, 33830

The courthouse allows you to contact them by phone at (863) 534-4844 and via email at publicrecords@sao10.com.

Polk County Family Court Records

Since Polk County does not have a court dedicated explicitly to family matters, they are heard within the Circuit and County Courts. These courts handle a variety of family law matters, including:

  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
  • Child Custody and Support
  • Paternity Establishment
  • Adoption
  • Domestic Violence Orders of Protection
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship

The public can access family court records in Polk County in two main ways. Firstly, they can do so through the public records search portal. The portal provides free public access to case information for ongoing family court cases in Polk County. This includes filings, schedules, and specific court orders. The portal also permits interested persons to conduct searches by name. However, to preserve privacy, some records are not publicly accessible, especially where children are involved.

The other way to access family records is to go to the Polk County Courthouse at:

Polk County Courthouse

255 North Broadway Avenue
Bartow, FL, 33830

You can also contact the courthouse by phone at (863) 534-4844 or by email at publicrecords@sao10.com.

Polk Dissolution of Marriage Records

The Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller’s Family Law Department is the primary custodian of the dissolution of marriage records. The official record of every family court case, even closed cases (divorces that have been finalized), is kept by the Clerk of Court. You can make a request for these copies through the Public Information and Electronic Requests system.

Polk County Marriage and Divorce Records

If you are looking for marriage and divorce records in Polk County, there are two main avenues available to you.

  • Polk County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller
  • Florida Department of Health – Bureau of Vital Statistics
  • The Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller is the best route for you to go for marriages or divorces that occurred in Polk County. The Polk County Clerk of Circuit Courts allows residents to search for divorce and marriage records in two ways.
  • They can search Polk County marriage records and obtain unofficial records for free.
  • They can request a certified copy of Polk County divorce and marriage records electronically.

You obtain unofficial copies of marital records by conducting either a Marriage & Divorce Court Records Search or an Official Marriage & Divorce Court Records Search. You can print the record for free once you have viewed it.

Certified copies are also available. However, these copies are typically restricted to certain individuals, such as parties who are named on the record. You can obtain a certified copy by making an electronic public records request.

If you cannot find a record online, you can either mail or email their requests to the Polk County Clerk of Court:

Records Custodian

P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-18
Bartow, FL 33831-9000

clerkrecords@polk-county.net.

However, if it happened elsewhere in Florida, you should check with the Florida Department of Health.

Polk Birth and Death Records

Polk County provides three ways to obtain birth and death records:

  • Polk County Health Department
  • Florida Department of Health – Bureau of Vital Statistics

Although marriage and divorce records are considered Polk County public records, birth, and death records are not public records. They need to be requested by the registrant, parents on the record, or legal guardian. If you are not any of those people, you should apply for the birth and death record with a notarized affidavit to release a birth or death certificate. This applies to birth and death records that are less than 100 and 50 years, respectively.

Polk County Probate Court Records

The Polk County Circuit Court is responsible for handling probate matters. The Court hears different kinds of probate cases, including:

  • Will Administration: The Probate Division ensures a deceased person's will is followed correctly. Records include the will itself, filings related to its validity, and distribution of assets.
  • Intestate Succession: If there's no will, the court determines how to distribute assets according to Florida law. Records include petitions for administration, inventories of assets, and court orders.
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship: The court appoints guardians for minor children or incapacitated adults and conservators to manage their finances. Records include petitions, orders of appointment, and financial reports.

You can access probate records either through the Public Record Searches system or by visiting the Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller.

Note: Probate records may contain sensitive personal and financial information, and some redactions may be taken to protect privacy.

Polk County Property Records

The Polk County Clerk of Courts serves as the county recorder and is responsible for maintaining official property records, which include land records, liens, and property deeds.

You can use the Polk County Property Records Search Tool to conduct property record searches in the county. This search tool allows you to search by:

  • Name
  • Tax number
  • Lands available
  • Parcel Number
  • Map search
  • Sales date

The Polk County Historical Deed Index Search tool if you are looking to locate deeds recorded between 1861 and 1956.

Polk County Court Records Online

The Clerk of Court’s Court Record Search system allows the general public to get court records online at no cost. The Florida public docket is available for free viewing by anybody, as no membership or registration is needed to access these documents. The online docket does, however, just offer an index of court case files and proceedings; it must contain comprehensive details about individual cases.

An alternative option for finding free court records online utilize third-party websites like courtrecords.us. These websites usually give users access to a database that has been assembled from several Polk County governments as well as other jurisdictions. However, the number of free searches available could differ based on the platform. In addition, the accuracy of records on such platforms cannot be guaranteed.

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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
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  • Property Records
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  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!