National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Sheriff Courts

Sheriff Courts

There are 40 sheriff courts throughout Scotland. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) accepts records from all of the sheriff courts according to agreed schedules.

The NRS accepts transmissions of sheriff court records after they are 25 years old. Details of the different record types can be found in the sheriff court record schedule (PDF 154KB).

Records are usually uplifted from the largest sheriff courts (Edinburgh and Glasgow) every 2 years, from smaller courts every 5 to 8 years, and from the smallest courts every 10 years. The Court and Legal Records team will contact the courts due for inclusion in that year’s Summer program of transmissions in early Spring. Sheriff Clerks will be asked to complete a pre-inspection survey form (PDF 42KB) and and e-mail it back to us. This will provide a helpful summary of the records for potential transmission. Failure to complete the survey form will delay the transmission of records from your court. We will use the information to check for any discrepancies between NRS’s holdings and the courts, which gives us the opportunity to locate records that may have been misplaced before the transmission.. Once checking is complete a transmission date will then be arranged and NRS will collect records from the court.

To request an uplift out with a scheduled transmission, please contact the Court and Legal team so that it can be discussed. In addition if there is any damage to or loss of records Sheriff Clerk’s should contact NRS as soon as possible (and within 2 working days) for assistance. More detailed information on sheriff court records can be found in the online catalogue by searching under the name of the sheriff court.