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    France Criminal & Civil Court Record Check
France Background Check

Search French Courts, Boards and Tribunals nationwide for Criminal or Civil Court records.
France Court System:

First instance courts
Juge de Proximit�
Tribunal de police
They judge contraventions committed by adults. In the case of minor contraventions, such as many traffic offenses, suspected offenders are offered the possibility of either admitting to the offense and paying a set fine (amende forfaitaire) or going to court. The court may then find the suspect innocent or guilty; but if guilty, they risk higher fines than the forfaitaire.

Tribunal correctionnel
They judge d�lits committed by adults.

Cour d'assises
The Cour d'Assises ("Assize Courts") in France are the courts that judge people accused of felonies ("crimes" as known by French law), and one of the few to be composed of a popular jury. According to French law, a felony is an act for which one can be condemned to more than 10 years of prison. The Assize Court sits on an ad hoc basis (not a permanent court). Its decisions are permanent and cannot be brought for appeal. The Cour d'Assises is chaired by a senior judge called the president of the court. It has 9 jurors plus 3 professional judges on first instance, and 12 jurors plus 3 professional judges on appeal. List of possible jurors are drawn at random from the electoral rolls, but the prosecution and the defense can refuse some jurors (without having to bring any justification They are the only courts to be composed of juries. Extraordinary Cours d'Assises Felonies committed by teenagers older than 16 years old are judged by a special children Cour d'Assises (Cour d'Assises des Mineurs). Felonies related to terrorism or illegal drug trade are also judged by a special Cour d'Assises, which do not include a popular jury. The court consists of seven professional judges on first instance and nine professional judges on appeal.

Tribunal pour enfants
They judge contraventions and d�lits committed by minors. Defendants are tried by one judge,

Cour d'assises des mineurs
They judge crimes committed by minors.

Appellate courts

Court of Cassation
The Court of Cassation ( Cour de cassation ) is the court of last resort in France. It has its seat in the Palais de Justice of Paris. The Court judges final appeals with respect to the "normal" system of justice, excluding cases of administrative justice, which go before the Conseil d'�tat.

Tribunal administratif
Cour administrative d'appel

Conseil d'�tat
In France, the Conseil d'�tat (English: Council of State) is an organ of the French national government. Its functions include assisting the executive with legal advice and being the supreme court for administrative justice. Its members are (for the most part) high level jurists.

Tribunal des conflits
The Tribunal des conflits handles conflicts between the civil system of justice and the administrative system of justice. There are two kinds of conflicts: Positive conflict: both systems consider themselves competent for the same case. Negative conflict: both systems consider that the other system is competent for the case, resulting in a denial of justice. In both cases, the tribunal des conflits will render final judgment on which system is competent.

Cour des Comptes
"Court of Accounts", with national competency, or the chambres r�gionales des comptes, "Regional chambers of Accounts", with regional competency)  have functions related to the possible misuse of public funds and, in some rare instances, of private funds. Their existence is justified by Article 15 of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which specifies that citizens have the right to demand from any public agent an account of his or her activities. Their workings are defined by the Code des juridictions financi�res.

Conseil de prud'hommes
These judge cases opposing employees and employers (apart from cases devoted to administrative courts, see below). They are paritaires, with equal numbers of representatives from employers' unions and employees' unions.

Tribunal paritaire des baux ruraux
These judge cases arising from long-term leases of agricultural lands.

Tribunal de S�curit� sociale
lawsuits involving state benefits.

Tribunal de commerce
lawsuits involving businesses or companies.

Correctional Court.
Correctional Courts have jurisdiction over offenses which can incur a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

Police Court.
Police Courts have jurisdiction over violations of the law that incur a punishment of less than 2 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of 25,000 francs.

The Chamber of Correctional Appeals.
The Chamber of Correctional Appeals hears appeals of decisions brought to it by the Police and Correctional Courts.

Supreme Court of Appeal.
The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeal oversees the application of law in all courts. It verifies judicial decisions to ensure that the application of the law and the resulting sentences are sound, but does not actually hear any cases. Its judges determine the appropriate application of the law in a case, but do not draw any conclusions as to the facts of the case.

Overview of the French Legal System:

The legal system of France, abides by the principal of unity of the civil and criminal justice system, which means that the same court can hear both criminal and civil cases. The French legal system distinguishes between civil and criminal justice. Civil law applies to dealings between private individuals (in personal matters or matters of property). In civil actions, plaintiffs may receive damages, but neither fines nor imprisonment may be imposed. Civil actions are judged by the tribunaux d�instance (tribunals) and the appeal courts. Hearings are public, except in some special cases such as divorce hearings and legal recognition of children. Criminal law ensures that laws are enforced. Cases may be heard in the tribunals or in the appeal courts. The tribunals include:- police tribunals for petty offences, which can impose fines or prison sentences of up to two months; tribunaux correctionnels for crimes such as unarmed robbery or fraud, for which penalties range from community service to a ten-year prison sentence; the cours d�assises (assizes) for serious crimes such as armed robbery and murder, for which sentences of up to thirty years� imprisonment may be imposed. The appeal courts may re-examine the verdicts of tribunals. Hearings are public, except in the juvenile courts.

France Judiciary and Police: Judges are recruited and must compete for entry after 2 years of training at the National School of Magistrature. Police personnel are recruited on a competitive basis. Training is given in specialized schools. Police recruits attend the Saint-Cyr School at Mont d'Or for 10 months, Inspectors attend the Canet-Cluse School for 6 months, and peace agents attend the Superior School for 6 months. The core of the legal system is a body of civil servants, the magistrates. These may be divided into two groups. (1) sitting magistrates, whose task is to deliver verdicts. They act as judges and presiding judges in the various tribunals. Examining judges are selected from this group. These magistrates are assisted by lawyers who advise persons coming into contact with the legal system, assist them and defend them in court. (2) standing magistrates or Prosecution (le parquet). Their task is to defend public order and demand that the Law be enforced in the name of society as a whole and of the State. This group consists of public prosecutors, counsels for the prosecution and deputy public prosecutors. They are assisted by clerks, who note verdicts and sentences, and ushers, who see that they are carried out. Magistrates are trained and selected at the national school for magistrates (Ecole nationale de la magistrature).

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