ADMINSTRATIVE OFFCIE OF THE COURTS HOTS MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON PUBLIC ACCESS
With online access to court information becoming more available, courts throughout the nation are wrestling with the issue of how to provide public online access to court records while protecting sensitive information of litigants and witnesses such as social security numbers and medical records. These issues will become increasingly important in Delaware as the COTS case management system expands opportunities for public access to court records.
In an effort to help themselves and others find solutions to these issues, the Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts hosted a regional conference of court administrators and judges from the mid-Atlantic region on public access to court information. At the conference, participants shared information on their jurisdiction’s policies and experience in this area. The conference, which was held on April 26, 2007 through the work of the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), included discussion of such topics as model guidelines for access to court records, what types of records in addition to case records should be public information, methods for protecting sensitive information, and when fees for information should be assessed.
Participants included court administrators and judges from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Delaware, as well as representatives from the National Center for State Courts, with participation on some panels by the media and a member of the Delaware State Bar Association.