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Orange County Arrest, Court, and Public Records

What are Orange County Public Records?

The North Carolina Public Records Law defines Orange County public records as information made or received as provided by law or ordinance, and required by any public agency to transact public business. According to G.S. § 132-1, public records include documents, photographs, sound recordings, films, tapes, papers, electronic data, and all other documentary materials, notwithstanding characteristics or physical form.

Since most records are considered public, North Carolina law states that persons denied access to public records may seek redress at courts with sufficient jurisdiction. However, the law also prevents government agencies from providing access to several records, including:

  • Written communications from an attorney to the public body if communicated under the attorney-client privilege
  • Local and state tax information
  • Trade secrets that derive independent potential or actual commercial value from not being known or available
  • Electronic payment account numbers
  • Documents and file numbers maintained by the North Carolina Secretary of State
  • Electronic images of a person’s social security number, date of birth, driver’s license, number, or signature
  • Proprietary design or work products submitted as part of a proposal during a competitive bid process
  • Certain criminal investigation or criminal intelligence records created by law enforcement agencies.
  • A complaining witness’ name or address if disclosure could threaten a future investigation, an intelligence operation, or the person’s mental health, personal safety, or physical health,
  • Records a public law enforcement agency believes would hinder a defendant’s right to a free trial, frustrate a current or future investigation, or prevent the state from prosecuting a defendant. However, the law enforcement agency must petition a court of appropriate jurisdiction for an order to withhold access
  • Emergency security plans
  • Records that contain public security plans
  • Records that contain plans to respond to or prevent a terrorist attack, including potential targets, emergency or security procedures, or risk and vulnerability assessments
  • Autopsy photographs, audio recordings, or video recordings

Orange County Crime Statistics

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes annual reports of crime statistics for all states through its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In 2018, the UCR’s statistics for Orange County violent crimes showed a total of 572 reported crimes, including 1 murder and nonnegligent manslaughter case, 7 robberies, and 52 aggravated assaults. Reported property crimes were 178 burglaries, 28 motor vehicle thefts, and 2 arson incidents. According to the report, larceny theft was the most committed crime, with 304 reported cases. Notably, the UCR did not publish any rape figure.

In 2017, the UCR reported a total of 662 offenses and also included no rape reports. However, the overall crime total in the year shows that Orange County’s crime activity decreased by 13.5% between 2017 to 2018.

Are Orange County Criminal Records Public?

Orange County criminal records obtained from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) are available on a case-by-case basis. The SBI only entertains requests from certain qualified entities requesting criminal records on prospective employees, and residents requesting personal criminal records. Requesting agencies may qualify only if a state law, federal law, or local ordinance provides specific authority for a fingerprint-based criminal history record request. The SBI does not process third-party requests for Orange criminal records. However, interested persons may obtain public criminal information by submitting requests to the Orange County Clerk of Superior Court.

Certified copies are requestable by completing the Form AOC-CR-314. Requestors must note that infractions in North Carolina are considered non-criminal violations. Therefore, Orange criminal records only contain information on infractions unless specifically requested. Each request costs $25, payable by certified checks, money orders, cash, and credit cards. However, mail requestors may only use money orders or certified checks. Residents may visit the courthouse to search for records and email them using public access computers at the Clerk’s Office. Requestors may also print search results for a fee. However, individuals should note that records printed at the public access computers are not certified.

How to Obtain Orange County Police Reports and Arrest Records

Persons seeking police reports may contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO). Through its Records Division, the OCSO processes Orange County arrest records and incident reports, and issues copies to interested persons. Record seekers may submit mail requests or visit the Sheriff's Office for in-person requests. All requests should provide the Sheriff's Office with details such as a description of the incident, names of involved parties, dates, and locations. Requests for Orange arrest records should be submitted to the:

Orange County Sheriff’s Office
106 E. Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 245-2900
Email: websheriff@orangecountync.gov
Fax: (919) 732-6403

How to Find Sex Offender Information in Orange County

Members of the public can find Orange County sex offender information on the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI)’s registry. The SBI maintains a searchable online database where users can find sex offenders by name, address, age, city, and current status. Searchers may also find Orange County sex offender records by registration number, latitude, and longitude. The database contains the offender’s full name, physical description, registration type, last verified address, and photographs. Other specifics include conviction information, such as offense and conviction dates, probation information, and the victim’s details.

How to Find Orange County Inmate Records

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office publishes an online Custody Report every morning from Monday through Friday. The report contains information on inmates in custody and those awaiting trial. Users can view an inmate’s full name, charges, arresting agency, and current status. Other details include the inmate’s status, bond information, docket, booking date and time, as well as number of days spent in custody. Record seekers may also confirm an inmate’s incarceration status by visiting the Sheriff’s Office or calling the Detention Center at (919) 245-2940.

How Do I Visit an Inmate in the Orange County Jail?

Family and friends looking to visit inmates at the Orange County Detention Center must be on the inmate’s weekly approved visitation list. If on the inmate’s list, the visitor must provide valid photo identification to jail staff at the time of the visit. Persons younger than 16 are not required to be on the inmate’s list. However, such persons may visit only in the company of an adult on the inmate’s list. Visitors are restricted to 15-minute visits per inmate. The visitation schedule is as follows:

  • Federal Inmates: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sundays
  • Other inmates: 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturdays

Court Records

The Orange County Superior and District Courts handle all county matters. The Superior Court hears criminal cases such as misdemeanors, infractions, felonies, and civil disputes worth more than $25,000. The District Court's jurisdiction is limited to certain types of criminal and civil cases, including municipal ordinance violations and civil claims for less than $25,000. Both courts grant public access to court records.

Locations of Courts in Orange County

Orange County Superior Court (Main Courthouse)
106 East Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4500
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Orange County Superior Court
104 East King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4747
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Orange County Superior Court
179 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (919) 967-4523
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Orange County District Court
179 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (919) 967-4523
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Orange County District Court
106 East Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4500
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Orange County District Court
104 East King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4747
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Are Orange County Court Records Public?

Orange County court records are public records. Court records created or maintained by Orange County courts are available for inspection or copying. However, not all public records are open to public disclosure. For instance, the Orange County public cannot access juvenile court records and any other record with sensitive or private information.

Can You Look Up an Orange County Court Case Online?

Orange court records available online via the remote public online access platform provided by the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC). The platform offers the Civil Case Processing System (VCAP) for civil court records and the Automated Criminal/Infractions System (ACIS) for criminal records. Access to the platform costs a non-refundable one-time connection fee of $495 for two user IDs and two admin IDs. The platform also charges a $70 one-time fee per additional user ID and a 21-cent per transaction access fee. Interested persons must use checks and money orders made out to "N.C." Administrative Office of the Courts" to pay the initial connection and additional user ID fees.

How to Obtain Orange County Civil Court Case Records

Record seekers may visit the Orange County courthouse to request physical copies of desired civil court records or use the self-service terminals to view case information. Residents may find records by providing record descriptions, including dates, names, and case numbers. Access to the public terminals is free of charge. On the other hand, physical copies of Orange County civil court records may cost varying fees. Interested parties should visit the courthouse at the following address:

Orange County Superior Court
106 East Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4500
Fax: (919) 644-4501

How to Obtain Orange County Criminal Court Case Records

Orange County criminal court records are accessible through public terminals at the courthouse. Persons who require physical copies may also request them by submitting case details such as names of involved persons, offense details, and information on the court’s final judgment. The Orange County Superior Court may charge each requester a fee before producing physical copies. Persons who want to skip payments may use the public terminals free of charge. Applicants seeking Orange County criminal court records may visit the courthouse at:

Orange County Superior Court
106 East Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4500
Fax: (919) 644-4501

Conducting a search is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.

What are Orange County Vital Records?

Orange County vital records are official documents that detail life events happening in the county. These records contain information on county marriages, divorces, births, and deaths, and are issued to persons who submit official requests. Orange vital records are created and maintained by varying government agencies. However, not all vital records are considered public.

Where and How to Obtain Orange County Divorce Records?

Orange County divorce records are obtainable from the Orange County Clerk of Superior Court. Parties seeking Orange County divorce decrees may contact the Clerk’s Office with the names of both ex-spouses, date of divorce, and city of divorce. Also, the Clerk of Court’s office may charge request fees before producing copies of desired records. Record seekers may send written requests or visit the following address:

Orange County Superior Court
106 E Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: (919) 644-4500
Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays

Residents may also contact the North Carolina Vital Records office for Orange County divorce certificates. Each request costs $24, which includes one copy of a divorce certificate if submitted details match any records. Requests for additional copies of the same record cost $15 if requested along with the first. Request fees are nonrefundable.

The Vital Records office issues certified and uncertified copies of Orange divorce certificates. Uncertified copies are informational records not valid for legal or identity purposes. Although certified copies serve legal purposes, access is restricted to the following persons:

  • Either divorced party
  • Parent, grandparent, or stepparent
  • Current spouse, sibling, child, grandchild, or stepchild
  • Authorized agent, legal representative, or attorney

Interested persons may mail completed copies of the vital record application form, filled with the full names of both spouses, divorce date, and divorce location. Requestors should also send checks or money orders made out to “N.C. Vital Records.” An expedited service is also available for requesters who pay an additional $15 fee and write “Expedite” on the mailed envelope. Personal checks are not acceptable. All requestors must submit identification as described on the application form. Interested parties may submit mail or in-person requests to:

Mail Requests:
North Carolina Vital Records
1903 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1900
Phone: (919) 733-3000

In-person Requests:
North Carolina Vital Records
225 North McDowell Street
Raleigh, NC 27603-1382

Where and How to Get Public Orange County Marriage Records

Orange County marriage records are obtainable from the Register of Deeds. Each record costs $10 per certified copy and 15 cents for each uncertified copy, payable by certified bank checks, money orders, business checks, cash, debit cards, or credit cards. Interested persons may request by mail or in person. However, only in-person requestors may use cash, debit cards, or credit cards.

Each mail requestor must complete the vital records request form with the names of both parties and the date of marriage. Requestors should mail the completed form with a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or a state-issued ID. Mail requests also require self-addressed and stamped envelopes. All checks and money orders should be payable to the Orange County Register of Deeds.

To obtain a certified copy of an Orange County marriage certificate, the requestor must be one of the following persons:

  • Either party to the marriage
  • Either party’s child, stepchild, sibling, current spouse, parent, stepparent, or grandparent
  • Either party’s attorney, legal representative, or authorized agent

Mail requestors may also send letters of request instead of vital record forms. The letter should contain the full names of both parties and the date of marriage. For certified copies, the requestor must specify their relationship to either party. Mail and in-person requests should be submitted as follows:

Mail Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278

In-Person Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
Gateway Center
228 South Churton Street
Third Floor
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Hours: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays

Where and How to Find Orange County Birth Records

The Register of Deeds maintains Orange County birth records and issues certified and uncertified copies to interested requestors. Under North Carolina law, all persons may obtain uncertified copies. However, access to certified copies is restricted to:

  • The person named on the record
  • The person's child, grandchild, great-grandchild, parent, grandparent, stepparent, and great grandparent
  • The person’s spouse, sibling, attorney, or authorized agent

All parties may visit the Register of Deeds Office for mail and in-person requests. To order by mail, the requester must send a vital records request form completed with the subject's full name, date of birth, and each parent's current legal and maiden names. Requestors may also send letters of request completed with the same information. All mail requests for Orange County birth certificates are payable by money orders, business checks, or certified bank checks payable to the "Orange County Register of Deeds"

Record seekers may also visit the Register of Deeds Office for in-person requests. In addition to checks and money orders, in-person requestors may pay with cash, credit cards, or debit cards. All requests cost $10 for certified copies and 15 cents for uncertified copies. Requests also require valid government-issued ID, such as a passport, state ID card, or driver’s license. Residents may submit requests to the following addresses:

Mail Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278

In-Person Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
Gateway Center
228 South Churton Street
Third Floor
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Hours: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays

Where and How to Find Orange County Death Records

All interested residents can request Orange County death records from the Register of Deeds. Members of the general public can request uncertified copies at 15 cents per record. Certified copies cost $10 and are only available to the following persons related to the decedent:

  • Spouse
  • Children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and great-grandchildren
  • Parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and stepparents
  • Siblings, authorized agents, and attorneys

The Register of Deeds entertains mail and walk-in requests for Orange County death certificates. Each mail requestor must submit a vital records request form or a letter of request with the full name of the deceased person and the date of death. Mail requests are payable via business checks, certified bank checks, and money orders made out to the Orange County Register of Deeds. These options are also available to walk-in requestors, in addition to cash, credit cards, and debit cards. All parties must also submit valid government-issued ID with their requests. The Register of Deeds Office receives mail and in-person orders at the following addresses:

Mail Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
P.O. Box 8181
Hillsborough, NC 27278

In-Person Requests:
Orange County Register of Deeds
Gateway Center
228 South Churton Street
Third Floor
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Hours: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Mondays through Fridays