Retrieving Copies of Case Files, Case Docs & Archives Requests
Instructions for Retrieving Copies of Case Files & Case Documents& Archives Requests
Copies of a Bankruptcy Case File:
1) If the case was filed on or after May 5, 2003 up to April 1, 2006, some case documents may be available from our electronic case file system. This system may be accessed in person at either our Wilkes-Barre or Harrisburg offices. Our electronic case file system is also available to people who sign up for PACER (public access to court electronic records). PACER sign up information can be found at: www.pacer.gov .
In order to obtain copies, you will need to provide us with: (1) the Bankruptcy Case Number, (2) the Debtor’s Name, and (3) a specific indication of what document(s) you want copied and number of copies, and (4) Contact Phone Number. Once you have this information, you may either:
- Visit the Court between 9:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday to receive copies. Copies are 50 cents per page. You must have exact change or pay with a money order or check (the Court cannot accept checks from a debtor with an open case) made payable to: Clerk, US Bankruptcy Court.
- OR you may send a letter to the Court. The letter must include the information listed above and a self-addressed postage prepaid envelope. Mail the letter to: US Bankruptcy Court, Max Rosenn US Courthouse, 197 South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701 or US Bankruptcy Court, PO BOX 908, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0908. The Court will contact you with the cost including any additional postage. After the Court contacts you, send a check or money order in the mail. DO NOT send CASH through the mail.
Additional Search Fees May Apply.
2) If the case was filed prior to May 5, 2003 and closed more than 2 years ago, the file has been sent to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). You may also visit the NARA website at: http://www.archives.gov/frc/. 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 (in accordance with 44 USC § 3303).
If the case was filed before May 5, 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."