Inmate Copy Service
Through our Inmate Copy Service, we seek to provide Texas inmates whose court records are held by the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, or the 3rd Court of Appeals (criminal only) with copies of their trial records at a reasonable cost.
What court records can I access through the Inmate Copy Service?
What court records are stored at the Library?
The Texas State Law Library does not store case files and does not have access to the records of any other courts. Our library is authorized to temporarily borrow court records from the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the 3rd Court of Appeals (criminal only) for this service. If your case file is not currently stored at, or on appeal at, the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, or the 3rd Court of Appeals, you should contact the clerk at the original trial court or the appropriate court of appeal reviewing your case.
Can I access exhibit files through the Inmate Copy Service?
No. The Texas State Law Library does not have the authorization to copy exhibit files from the 3rd Court of Appeals and the Court of Criminal Appeals. In order to obtain copies of exhibits from these courts, you will need to contact the court directly to file a motion requesting these documents. We cannot facilitate or assist you with this process. You may also contact your trial court directly to obtain copies of exhibits.
Can I access other library materials?
The Texas State Law Library will also provide photocopies of state and federal statutes, codes, rules and regulations, and case law that is not listed as available at a TDCJ unit library in the Offender Orientation Handbook (Manual de Orientación para Ofensores en español). Note that specific citations are required and handwritten letters must be legible for any request to be completed. See fees, pricing, and payment information below.
Can you provide legal advice or help with my case?
No. The Texas State Law Library will not provide any legal advice or interpret any statutes, codes, laws, rules, regulations, case law, or other legal texts. Inmates should consult with their attorney if they require assistance. If they do not have an attorney, the office of the State Counsel for Offenders may be of assistance. Information on how to contact the State Counsel for Offenders is available in the Offender Orientation Handbook (Manual de Orientación para Ofensores en español).
How do I order court records?
To obtain copies of Texas Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, or 3rd Court of Appeals (criminal only) records for an inmate, send a request for specific court documents to:
Inmate Copy Service
State Law Library
P.O. Box 12367
Austin, TX 78711-12367
You can also make a request through our Ask a Librarian service. Please submit the following information:
- Full name and any aliases
- Date of conviction
- County of conviction
- Appeal number
- Complete mailing address
The information submitted must be legible and as complete as possible or fulfillment of your request will be unnecessarily delayed.
How long does the process take?
Due to the high volume of requests we receive and limited staff resources, processing time may take 2 to 4 weeks depending on the nature of the request. Please note that we will only copy court records from the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the 3rd Court of Appeals (criminal only), or select materials from the library's collection at the discretion of library staff.
What formats are available?
We can provide copies in print or via a digital file added to a USB drive or uploaded online. Please contact us for more information about obtaining copy requests digitally.
How much does it cost?
Charges for obtaining physical photocopies from the State Law Library are as follows:
- 25 cents per page
- 8.25% state sales tax
- service charge (a flat rate of $5 for most orders but this increases depending on the total number of pages copied)
- postage (if applicable)
Charges for digital copies are as follows:
- $5 flat fee per court file
- $6 USB drive (if applicable)
- 8.25% sales tax
- postage charges (if applicable)
How do I pay for copies?
Once we obtain the court records, we will send you an estimate detailing the total number of pages and total cost for photocopying. Photocopies will be mailed to you as soon as we receive payment, and you can contact us to pay over the phone. Do not submit payment until you have received an estimate. The library is unable to provide free copies to inmates who are indigent.
The quote we send to inmates will itemize these charges and list the total amount due. Please make cashier's checks, money orders, or inmate trust fund checks payable to the State Law Library. We also accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.