Arkansas Court Records

Why Arkansas Court Records are Available to the Public

In late 1967, the Arkansas State Legislature passed a law named the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. This law is for the last changes in early 2000 and aims to make sure disclosure of court records and other public records to the public.

What Court Records Access Means To You

The law is similar to the Arkansas Open Meetings Law which monitors the methods by of public meetings. These meetings are held while the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies, and the people’s conduct within.

Accountability to the Public

When the legislature enacted Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, it expressively declared that access to information about the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state, http://arkansasag.gov/media-center/foia/ . Indeed, in Arkansas access to the government and court records, in particular, a fundamental interest in citizenship and has emphasized that maxim disclosure of the conduct of governmental operations [is] promoted by the act. By promoting prompt public access to government records, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is to safeguard the government’s accountability to the public.

How the Arkansas Court Process Functions

Most cases in Arkansas courts begin in one of the 75 superior or trial courts in  the state’s 75 counties.

The next level of judicial authority resides with the Court of Appeals. Most cases before the Court of Appeals involves the review of a superior court decision being contested by a party involved in the case.

The Supreme Court serves as the highest court in the state and has authority to check decisions of the Court of Appeals to settle important questions of law and to resolve conflicts among the Court of Appeals. 

Some differences between Civil Court and Small Claims Court below

 

Small Claim

Civil

Appeal

Only the party who was sued can file an appeal. The person who filed the claim cannot appeal.

Either party can appeal.

Attorney Representation

You cannot have a lawyer file your papers or go to court with you – except for an appeal.

You can have a lawyer file your papers and go to court for you.

Filing fee for either defendant or plaintiff’s claim

$30 -$100 per claim

$180 - $320 per claim

Pretrial Discovery  allowed

No

Yes

How long to complete your case

30-70 days after the complaint

120 days after you file the complaint

 

You do not have to be a U.S. citizen to file or defend a case in Small Claims Court. If you do not speak English well, bring someone who speaks English and ask the judge if that person can serve as your interpreter. The court cannot provide you an interpreter.

You can find an interpreter by using the Arkansas Courts Interpreter Search page. Also see the web page with interpreter information on this website https://courts.arkansas.gov/administration/interpreters .

How Arkansas Court Records Are Structured

The court records group is for civil and small claims matters.

Civil cases are matters where the petitioner is seeking more than $250,000. Close to 200,000 unlimited civil court records filed with the courts annually. Civil cases also include other types of disputes that do not involve money, like cases to resolve (or “quiet”) title to real property, cases asking for civil restraining orders and requests to change your name or your child’s name.

Small Claims Court filings are cases where the petitioner is seeking $5,000 or less and is not represented by counsel. Close to 25,000 of small claims cases filed statewide every year. 

Here are some examples of common Small Claims Court cases:

  • Your former landlord refuses to return the security deposit you paid.
  • Someone dents your fender and refuses to pay for the repairs.
  • Your new TV does not work, and the store will not fix it.
  • Your tenant caused damage to the apartment, and the repairs cost more than their security deposit (Note: You cannot use small claims court to evict someone.).
  • You lent money to a friend, and he/she refuses to pay you back.
  • Small Claims Court can also order a defendant to do something, as long as the claim is also asking for money. For example, the court can cancel a contract or the court can order your neighbor to pay you for your lawn mower or order them to return it to you right away.

 

Arkansas State Archives

Arkansas State Archives

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Name
  • Location
  • Case Number
  • Case Summary
  • Docket
  • Police Report
  • Court Documents
  • Legal Records
  • Case File
  • Statements
  • Transcripts
  • Legal Forms
  • Case Notes
  • Disposition
  • Trial Records
  • Arbitration
  • Case Evidence
  • Witnesses
  • Interviews
  • Descriptions
  • Mugshots
  • Charges
  • Legal Motions
  • Attorney Records
  • Prosecution Records
Arkansas Little Rock Old Post Office

Arkansas Little Rock Old Post Office

  • State Archives hold over 500 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 109 district court judges in the 230 District Courts of the state of Arkansas.
  • There are 2 levels of Courts: trial and appellate.
  • There are 12 Trial courts through the state of Arkansas.
  • There are 230 District Courts in the state of Arkansas.
  • The highest Court in Arkansas is Arkansas Supreme Court.
  • CASA
  • Community foundation
  • OMNI
  • Time after Time
  • Advocates For Children