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.”

Ninth Circuit: Courts Can Force Feds to Put Records Online (Courthouse News)

Courthouse News: Ninth Circuit: Courts Can Force Feds to Put Records Online. “In a decision that will expand the power of courts to make government agencies post information online, the Ninth Circuit this week reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the removal of animal welfare compliance data from a U.S. Department of Agriculture website.”

AL .com: Hey, Alabama, public data are public documents, too

AL .com: Hey, Alabama, public data are public documents, too. “David Simpson is curious, which is a good thing for a researcher to be. Simpson is a PhD student studying political science at Columbia University. Also, he’s an Alabama native. So when it came time to direct his study to a particular interest, he naturally turned his attention to his home state.”

Virginia Memory: Grants Awarded to Circuit Courts for Records Preservation

Virginia Memory: Grants Awarded to Circuit Courts for Records Preservation. “After careful evaluation and discussion of all applications, the board approved 91 grant projects totaling over $1,200,000. Eighty-nine of the approved applications covered professional conservation treatment for items including deed books, will books, land tax books, marriage licenses, minute books, and plat books, housed in circuit court clerks’ offices, which suffered damage from use, age, pests, water, or previous non-professional repairs.”

Valdosa State University: VSU Archives Awarded Grant to Digitize Historical Land Documents

Valdosa State University: VSU Archives Awarded Grant to Digitize Historical Land Documents. “Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections was awarded a grant from the Digital Library of Georgia to digitize historical deeds and plats (land maps) from primarily the South Georgia region.”

Missouri Actively Resists Public Disclosure Laws: All Genealogists Need to Read This (Genealogy’s Star)

Genealogy’s Star: Missouri Actively Resists Public Disclosure Laws: All Genealogists Need to Read This. “I am begging every genealogist who spends a few minutes to read this long email account of the refusal and blatant actions of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to share this post and the quoted letter as many times as possible. I am fed up with the government lying and refusing to follow the law at all levels. We all need to take a stand on this issue in our own jurisdictions. Here is the entire explanation, you decide for yourself.”

Louisville Courier Journal: Zillow says Kentucky is overcharging for public real estate records. So it’s suing

Louisville Courier-Journal: Zillow says Kentucky is overcharging for public real estate records. So it’s suing. “In the lawsuit, Zillow is challenging the constitutionality of a Kentucky law that allows government agencies to charge ‘commercial’ parties such as Zillow much more for access to public records than other ‘noncommercial’ companies. “