District of Columbia Courts Newsroom: DC Court Of Appeals Seeks Public Comment On Proposal To Have Documents Available Online

District of Columbia Courts Newsroom: DC Court Of Appeals Seeks Public Comment On Proposal To Have Documents Available Online. “The DC Court of Appeals is considering putting case documents online to further access to justice for the community, not only during the pandemic, but also to make it easier to access public court documents in the future. The Court has published a notice requesting public comment on a proposal, with comments due by March 12.”

InfoSecurity Magazine: Cook County Leaks 320,000 Court Records

InfoSecurity Magazine: Cook County Leaks 320,000 Court Records. “Over 320,000 court records belonging to the second most populous county in the US have been discovered sitting on a misconfigured online database. Security researcher Jeremiah Fowler and a team from Website Planet soon found that the data was all from Cook County, Illinois, which is home to America’s third-largest city, Chicago.”

Our View: Fees are too high for Maine electronic court records (Portland Press Herald)

Portland Press Herald: Our View: Fees are too high for Maine electronic court records. “Someone visiting a courthouse can read as many pages in the court files as they wish without any charge. If they want to copy any of the pages, they are charged $1 a page. The electronic records cannot be viewed without paying the fee, $2 for the first page and $1 per page after that. And even though the copying fee is steep, it more closely approaches the real cost of a public employee photocopying a document and processing payment. No human assistance is necessary for someone who wants to access an electronic record.”

Washington Post: Lawmakers are trying to create a database with free access to court records. Judges are fighting against it.

Washington Post: Lawmakers are trying to create a database with free access to court records. Judges are fighting against it.. “Leaders of the federal judiciary are working to block bipartisan legislation designed to create a national database of court records that would provide free access to case documents. Backers of the bill, who are pressing for a House vote in the coming days, envision a streamlined, user-friendly system that would allow citizens to search for court documents and dockets without having to pay. Under the current system, users pay 10 cents per page to view the public records through the service known as PACER, an acronym for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.”

Law & Crime: House Judiciary Committee Will Vote on Bill to Make All Federal Court Records Free for Public to Access

Law & Crime: House Judiciary Committee Will Vote on Bill to Make All Federal Court Records Free for Public to Access. “A committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is set to discuss whether publicly-funded information should be made available to the public for free. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill aimed at revamping the decades-old Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system which charges user fees for access to the 500 million-plus documents currently under its administration.”

Connecticut State Library: Connecticut State Library Receives $100,000 Grant from National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC)

Connecticut State Library: Connecticut State Library Receives $100,000 Grant from National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC). “The grant will support a two-year project, Uncovering Hidden Resources in New Haven Court Records,1700-1855, to enhance access to judicial records held in the State Archives. The project continues the work funded by two earlier grants to identify records related to interactions with the court system by underrepresented groups, especially enslaved persons, free persons of color, and indigenous persons. The richness of court records provides additional insights into these communities.”

State Archives of North Carolina: The Reemergence of Colonial Court Records

State Archives of North Carolina: The Reemergence of Colonial Court Records. “‘Accessing North Carolina’s Early Court Records’ is a special project funded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Begun in 2019, this effort will reintroduce some of North Carolina’s oldest and forgotten historical records to the public. Colonial Court Records, SR.401, and District Superior Court Records, SR.398, span the years ca. 1665–1823. We’re happy to announce that in mid-2020, the project archivist for the project, Marie Stark, completed work on the Colonial Court Records, providing more detailed description to increase their visibility and, in the process, stabilizing their storage to facilitate preservation for years to come.”

Technical .ly: Volunteer data scrapers helped Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity preserve client court records

Technical .ly: Volunteer data scrapers helped Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity preserve client court records. “As the first state to implement the Clean Slate Law in 2018, Pennsylvania committed to sealing millions of criminal records. The law was enacted to remove educational and vocational disadvantages for people with eligible records, including those associated with certain misdemeanors and people found not guilty in court. While the law cleared barriers to housing, education and employment for individuals across the state, it indirectly created new technological barriers for Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE).”

United States Courts: Judiciary Launches Redesigned PACER Website

United States Courts: Judiciary Launches Redesigned PACER Website. “The Administrative Office of the U.S Courts on June 28 will launch a redesigned informational website for the Judiciary’s electronic court records system, known as PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The new PACER website includes features that will make it easier for users to learn how to navigate the system, find what they are looking for more quickly, and understand the fee structure for downloading records. The update is also designed to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.”

Reason: @UnsealieCourt, a New Twitter Feed for News About Public Access to Court Records

Reason: @UnsealieCourt, a New Twitter Feed for News About Public Access to Court Records. “I’ve been researching this subject for several years now, and I’ve litigated about a dozen such cases, from California and Washington to Florida and Vermont (no Maine yet). I often blog about such matters, and now I’ve set up a special feed, @UnsealieCourt (pardon the pun, if it is pardonable), for news updates on the subject.”

The Washington Post: Should the public pay a dime for access to court records?

The Washington Post: Should the public pay a dime for access to court records?. “The federal judiciary charges 10 cents per page to pull up court files from its online record repository. The fees can add up quickly, and users must consider whether each click to view a public record is worth the cost. But a lawsuit in court Monday in Washington challenges the government’s paywall to search online for case documents through the service known as PACER, an acronym for Public Access to Court Electronic Records.”

Politico: The Federal Courts Are Running An Online Scam

Politico: The Federal Courts Are Running An Online Scam. “The U.S. federal court system rakes in about $145 million annually to grant access to records that, by all rights, belong to the public. For such an exorbitant price—it can cost hundreds of dollars a year to keep up with an ongoing criminal case—you might think the courts would at least make it easy to access basic documents. But you’d be wrong. The millions of dollars the courts have reaped in user fees have produced a website unworthy of the least talented of Silicon Valley garage programmers; 18 years since its online birth, PACER remains a byzantine and antiquated online repository of legal information.”