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Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona
Lyntha Scott Eiler via Wikimedia

Do you want to dig up dirt on your new boyfriend, local politician or the business begging for your money and time?

If you live in Maricopa County or elsewhere in Arizona, we've got a few awesome and mostly free online resources for you:

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

10.) Arizona Corporation Commission's STARPAS

starpas.azcc.gov/InsCorps.shtm

An incredible resource for information on Arizona businesses. Here's the direct link for business name search:

http://starpas.azcc.gov/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wsbroker1/connect.p?app=names-report.p

Find out who owns a business, look up corporate records. Also find links here to Arizona Corporation Commission records, like investigations and business-license discipline records. The site's a repository for reams of documents related to the ACC's role as energy-industry regulator. There's just more stuff here than you can imagine about local businesses.

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

9.) The SEC's Edgar site

sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html

If the company you are looking up is a public company, you can find another entire universe of filings on it through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Edgar lookup site. This contains SEC filings that detail everything from the CEO's salary to accounting records.

For nonprofits nationwide, check out GuideStar.

 

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona
Image: mcso.org

8.) The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

mcso.org

Navigate to "jail information" and then "mugshots" to see mugshots of people arrested by various police agencies who were booked into the county jail. Only includes last three days of arrested people.

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona
Image: Mike Woodfin via Flickr

7.) Arizona Department of Corrections Inmate Datasearch

www.azcorrections.gov/inmate_datasearch/Index_Minh.aspx

Find active and inactive prison records here. Includes court-case references, discipline actions, release dates, photo, etc. The main DOC site, azcorrections.gov, also has fun stats on the prison population and Death Row.

 

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

6.) PACER, the federal court site

pacer.login.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

Search for federal criminal, civil, appellate and bankruptcy cases. Find complete, scanned-in cases files here, but they're not cheap. Price is ten cents a page. Sign up for an account which requires a credit card for the inevitable payments.

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

5.) Elections and political campaigns

If you're interested in information on state elections and want to make searches for campaign-finance records or campaign contributors, check out these handy sites:

* Maricopa County campaign-finance search:

recorder.maricopa.gov/web/campfinsearch.aspx

* Arizona Secretary of State campaign-finance search:

azsos.gov/cfs/

* U.S. Presidential race campaign contributor lookup.

opensecrets.org/pres12/search_donor.php

 

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

4.) Maricopa County's website

maricopa.gov

An easy-to-use and well-maintained site. Important to initial investigations for several reasons.

Look to links on the left:

* "Case History" -- Use this to look up criminal, civil, probate and family court cases in Maricopa county.

You'll find the basic information about the court procedures for the cases here. To see copies of actual court records, though, you still have to visit the Clerk of Superior Court's office at 601 West Jackson in Phoenix.

* "Recorded Docs" -- Very useful lookup. See federal tax liens, property ownership records and a lot more.

* "Tax Information" -- This takes you to the county treasurer's and assessor's sites, where you'll find tax-bill records. When used in conjunction with "recorded docs," you can learn quite a lot about a piece of property.

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

3. Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court, court minutes page

courtminutes.maricopa.gov

If you're researching a county court case, it's always a good idea to check the Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court for court minutes on a particular case. On occasion, you can find what need there and skip the trip to downtown Phoenix.

 

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

2. Maricopa County Justice Courts

justicecourts.maricopa.gov/FindACase/casehistory.aspx

Like the clerk's site, this is another online court resource with a separate website. Mostly minor flaps like evictions, "Judge Judy"-type small-claims disputes, and traffic offenses.

Top 10 Sites for Digging Up Online Info in Maricopa County and Around Arizona

1. Public Access to Court Information, by the Arizona Supreme Court

apps.supremecourt.az.gov/publicaccess/caselookup.aspx

Another excellent site. This one carries most of the municipal-court stuff. Good for looking up traffic tickets, minor court cases, and basic info on minor and major cases from various city and county courts from around the state.

Information is power -- use your power responsibly.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.


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