New Jersey the “Garden State” is one of the original 13 colonies and became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. Trenton is the state capital of New Jersey. The 1776 state constitution gave the vote to “all inhabitants” who had a certain level of wealth including women and blacks. New Jersey was known as the “Pathway of the Revolution” as over 100 battles were fought on New Jersey soil. The state motto is “Liberty and Prosperity”.
With a population of over 8.7 million, New Jersey is the most populated state by area in the U.S. with over 1000 people per square mile. New Jersey has 21 counties. New Jersey is the only state where all its counties are classified as metropolitan areas. There are 566 municipalities or administrative entities which include boroughs, cities, towns, townships and villages. County government in New Jersey includes a Board of Chosen Freeholders, sheriff, clerk, and surrogate, all of which are elected officials.
The government of New Jersey was established by the New Jersey Constitution in 1947 and is comprised of three branches. The executive, the legislative and the judiciary. The state executive is the Governor who heads the executive branch. Constitutionally, New Jersey’s chief executive is one of the most powerful governors in the United States. The legislative branch contains two houses, a 40-member Senate and an 80-member General Assembly. The judicial branch includes the state’s supreme court, superior court, appellate division, tax court and municipal court.
The Open Public Records Act is the New Jersey law providing its residents access to public records. The state adopted the sunshine law in 2002, a great improvement over the prior public record laws. The OPRA works similarly to the federal information act (FOIA) in keeping the government transparent to its citizens. Residents of New Jersey do not need to show a reason to be able to order a record. These requests are made directly to the department where the information is sought. The law also requires the department where the request is being directed to provide records to be readily available to the public for viewing, ordering or copying.
Criminal history records inquiry can be obtained by the New Jersey state police with a simple request online. Many of the requests are by employers prior to hiring, a search of a person’s own records to see what is available to others in N.J.
Access to such documents as official court records may be obtained via the New Jersey Courts online ACMS service. Available for inspection by the public are criminal cases, civil cases including divorces, trials in tax courts, decisions and municipal courts. Anyone with internet connection can conduct a free online search of property records by name in each New Jersey county and get instant results including owner information, updated assessed value with detailed description of the land and building. However certain records are not made available for public inspection due to Federal and State statutes and rules governing the courts. Vital records such as birth and death certificates are not considered “public” records and are protected by New Jersey law.
Search for felony or misdemeanor criminal charges by requesting records from the New Jersey state repository.
- New Jersey Criminal History Records Checks
Instructions for obtaining criminal history record.
- New Jersey Criminal History Review
Criminal background checks of applicants for positions in New Jersey's public schools, private schools for students with disabilities, charter schools, and nonpublic schools, as well as for authorized vendors and authorized school bus contractors.
- New Jersey State Police
State Police offer criminal history record checks. Individual criminal background checks available for personal record request for purposes of immigration, naturalization, visa, foreign business, international adoption and record expungement. Employers perform records requests for employment, volunteer work or other performances of service.
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Newark Office
Request criminal background checks, obtain bureau criminal records.
- New Jersey Inmate sand Offenders Search
Find the location and release information of individuals incarcerated with the NJ Dept. of Corrections.
- New Jersey Most Wanted
Current posting of fugitives and absconders from the NJ Dept. of Law and Public Safety.
- New Jersey Sex Offenders
New Jersey State Police registry of sexual offenders. Search by name, area, vehicle. List of fugitive offenders. Services to resident include receiving email alerts when a predators has moved into an area. Victim information and safety tips with resources for families, child safety tips and guides. Find email addresses and IM names under an offender. Conduct a standard or guided search in your neighborhood or near schools.
- New Jersey Public Record Expungements
Information and resources to assist in expunging criminal records state and nationwide.
Access arrest records directly from New Jersey law enforcement agencies individually. Request information of incidents, charges and details from state and local police departments. Records division contact information and requirements to order official reports.
- New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife
Licenses, permits, information and more
- New Jersey Attorney General
Civil, criminal and appellate courts
- New Jersey Public Safety Accreditation Coalition
Police academy, training and more
- New Jersey County Sheriff Arrest Reports
Directory to county Sheriff offices and reports in New Jersey.
The New Jersey court system provides for many online services when individuals as well as attorneys are looking for filing and case information. The state's judicial system's court resources offer cases involving criminal convictions of felony and misdemeanors. Civil case online access, calendar of upcoming cases, judgment and lien databases are listed for public use. Court forms and help with representing yourself is also offered through the state judicial websites.