New Utah Database Lets You Find Out If Your Date Has A Criminal Record

By Dani Medina

February 3, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

A new database in Utah went online this week that will let you find out if the person you're planning to go out on a date with has a criminal record. All you need is $5. And a date.

The online database, called Utah Courts Xchange, is offered by the Utah court system thanks to two Davis County women and Representative Steve Handy. The initiative was created to give Utahns a new tool to combat domestic violence, according to The Standard-Examiner.

Here's how it came about:

Layton resident Lara Wilson suffered "broken bones and psychological trauma" inflicted by her partner, who she later found out had a domestic violence criminal record. "It's information they don't share when they meet you," she told The Standard-Examiner. Wilson crossed paths with Jenna Nelson, who suggested she take the discussion to Handy. That's where House Bill 249 came to life. It was passed in 2021 and called on the court system to give the public access to Utah's online court records database.

Here's how it works:

You log in as a guest and pay $5 to get 24 hours of access to district and justice court records of individuals and businesses. You can search for someone by name. Results show everything from minor violations to felonies and have basic details about the charges. Some records cost an additional 50 cents to access.

Utah Courts Xchange can be used beyond the dating world. It can be used as a tool to research a potential business partner or roommate, according to The Standard-Examiner. However, allowing women access to this database is the "most valuable," Handy said.

“All these meets today are happening online. I just think domestic violence is a scourge. It’s unbelievable what happens out there. If this access can help even one or two or a handful of women in the course of their dating or domestic relationships to be cautious about where they are getting involved, it is worth it," Handy said.

Utah Courts Xchange has existed for years as a subscription service for police, lawyers, journalists and other institutional entities to use. But now it's available to the public. The Standard-Examiner reported $185,000 was spent on programming to create the guest access feature.

“I’m really excited about it. It’s out now and we can let people use this as a tool against domestic violence," Handy said.

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