The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Northeast Region-Boston Federal Records Center in Waltham does not provide on-site court case review services to the public. Customers seeking to review court cases need to contact the court directly to retrieve the case file and review it at the court.
For a fee however, NARA will provide copies of court case files, docket sheets or documents directly by fax, mail and scan order services. Public customers may order online https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/ or by contacting the NARA research room staff at 781-663-0378 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (excluding Federal holidays) between 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Option 1 – Obtain Copies from NARA
1. Contact the Court and request the:
b. Location Number, and
c. Box Number
2. To request the documents from NARA:
Federal Records Center
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452
Phone Toll Free: 781-663-0378
Option 2 – Obtain Copies from the Court via SmartScan. SmartScan is a NARA service in which the specific paper documents are located, pulled and scanned into a PDF format then transmitted to the court via email. Upon payment of the applicable fees, the court will then email the requesting party the documents.
There is a limit of 100 pages to utilize SmartScan. Requests over 100 pages will require the records to be shipped to the Court. The court will contact you with the total fee due and after payment, your records will be delivered to you via email.
|Electronic Record Retrieval (SmartScan)||$10.00|
|FRC Electronic Retrieval Flat Fee||$ 9.90|
|FRC Electronic Retrieval Rate (per page)||$ .65|
Option 3 – To Review the Original Case Files at the Court:
1. Complete the Request for Case Records Form below and mail or fax it to the Clerk’s Office where you wish to review the documents. (Boston; Worcester; or Springfield)
2. The Clerk’s office will contact the Federal Records Center and, if the case has not already been disposed of, they will contact you regarding the fee. (As of February 2020, the fee is $64 for one box of records and $39 for each additional box.)
3. Once the fee is paid, the Clerk’s office will request the file back from NARA.
4. The Clerk’s office will notify you when the files arrive at the Court. You will have 45 days to come into the Clerk’s office to review the materials after which they will be returned to NARA. The 45-day period may be extended upon written request for an additional 30 days. If the requested materials are not viewed within the 45-day period or any extension thereof, they will be returned. Any further request for the files will require a new fee to be paid.
Retention periods for case files vary. Some records are stored permanently while others are disposed of 15 years after they were transferred to storage.
If the Court informs you that the record you requested has been destroyed, you may wish to consider obtaining a copy of the record of disposal and any printable documents available from the Court’s CM/ECF database. (Docket report, Schedules, Order of Discharge etc.)