Quick tip – No courthouse research in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, we do not do any of our research in courthouses.

If you are an American genealogist, you may be used to visiting the courthouse to get court records. In the Netherlands, such records are transferred to government archives after twenty years. They are typically public after seventy-five years. They are increasingly available online, either as scanned images or via scanning-on-demand. Otherwise, the records can be consulted at the archives in person.

Access to court records younger than seventy-five years is restricted. In rare circumstances, for example when it is your own file or you have a direct interest, you can order a copy. For records younger than twenty years, you may have to order a copy from the courthouse. You can never consult them on-site at a courthouse, even if they are not transferred to the archives yet.

Courthouse in Utrecht, 1985.
Credits: A.H.C. Schollen, collection Cultural Heritage Service (CC-BY-SA)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG® is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate certificate in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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