Will need to Courts Prohibit Access to Digital Documents?


From the Winter 2001 issue of The News Media & The Law, web page 17.

Courts around the nation are developing and acquiring the technology to provide Net or electronic access to court public records. It can make files searches more rapidly and more helpful for the press and members of the public. Nonetheless privacy hobbies are forcing some process of law to question whether to permit such broad use of courthouse data.

A number of says are considering new rules relating to electronic usage of court records. Several of the proposals minimize electronic entry to specific types of information, including villain case data files. These types of reports are more sensitive and present more potential just for privacy problems than civil case documents. Other plans are more expansive and will allow the general public to enjoy most records, but with restrictions on several data elements or kinds of information just like social secureness numbers or perhaps medical data.

The judiciary is asking for public responses on these kinds of proposals. If you are interested in the issue, you should contact a state’s lawmakers and ask them to support amendments to state open data laws that permit wide-ranging access to all court records, regardless of their type. You should also motivate attorneys to make contact with their selected officials and urge them to oppose any plans that prohibit access to electronic digital records.