Instructions for Retrieving Copies of Case Files & Case Documents
Copies of a Bankruptcy Case File:
1) If the case was filed on or after June 16, 2003, copies are available from our electronic case file system.
- You may visit the Court between 8:00am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday to receive copies. Copies are 50 cents per page.
- In Buffalo, you must have exact change or pay with a money order or certified check made payable to: Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court.
- In Rochester, you must pay with a money order or certified check made payable to: Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court. CASH is NOT accepted.
- OR you may send a letter to the Court. The letter must include the Bankruptcy Case Number, Debtor's Name, Your Phone Number, and specifically identify the copies you want. Mail the letter to: US Bankruptcy Court, Olympic Towers, 300 Pearl Street, Suite 250, Buffalo, NY 14202 or US Bankruptcy Court, US Courthouse, 100 State Street, Rochester, NY 14614. The Court will contact you with the cost. After the Court contacts you, send a check in the mail. DO NOT send CASH.
2) If the case was filed before June 16, 2003 and closed more than 2 years ago, the file has been sent to the National Archives and Records Administration(NARA). See below for instructions.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), serves as the storage facility for the majority of the court's closed case files. General bankruptcy case files are retained by the court for 20 years. Currently, most of the 1970-1995 bankruptcy case files have been destroyed in accordance with the approved records disposition authority (N1-578-11-001, in accordance with 44 USC § 3303).
If the case was filed before June 16, 2003 and closed more than 2 years ago, the entire case file was shipped to NARA.
To request copies of court records stored at the archives center, you will first need to obtain Federal Records Center (FRC) information from the bankruptcy court. NARA will not be able to locate the requested case files without the following information: transfer (accession) number, location number, box number, case name and case number. This information is available over the phone or by mailing your request to the court. In order to expedite your request, be sure to provide the court with as much information as possible about the case, such as, debtor's name, case number, date filed, and social security number or tax identification number.
Your request can be sent directly to NARA or you can request that the Court retrieve the archived case file from NARA. The form used to make such a request is available through NARA’s website at http://www.archives.gov/research/court-records/form-90.pdf. Follow the instructions provided by NARA so that NARA personnel can send you the requested copies. If you request the Court to retrieve the file, there is a $64.00 archive retrieval fee required for the Court to request the archived case file from NARA, plus 50 cents per page for copies of the case file. Payment must be made in the form of a certified check, money order, or attorney's check. Personal checks cannot be accepted. Attorney's checks, certified checks and money orders should be made payable to "Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court."