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Arizona Judicial Branch

Supreme Court

RULE WILL AFFECT SUMMARY AND IMPACT

Rule 123

R-08-0039

R-08-0039 Corrective Order

Contact: Melinda Hardman

All courts

Judges
Clerks of the Court
Court Administrators

Rule 123 concerns public access to case records. The amendments:

  • Define or modify definitions for the terms “Bulk Data,” “Case Record,” “Custodian of Bulk Data,” “Dissemination Contract and Disclaimer,” “Public,” “Public Purpose Organization,” “Remote Electronic Access,” and “Remote Electronic Access User Records.”

  • Clarify the procedure for review of a denial of access to records, bulk data, or compiled data.

  • Broaden the categories of case records available via the Internet beyond case management system data elements by including digital images or electronically filed pleadings, rulings, and minute entries in certain case types.

  • Authorize remote electronic access to case records based on the category of user. User categories include 1) parties, attorneys, and arbitrators; 2) federal, state, tribal, and local government entities; 3) registered members of the general public; and 4) non-registered members of the general public.

  • Require a government agency or public purpose organization to enter into a memorandum of understanding (records access agreement) prior to a custodian permitting remote electronic access to court records.

  • Identify personal identifying information that may be displayed to the general public online, including city, state and zip code (but not the street number) of a party’s address; and the month and year (but not the day) of birth.

  • Provide for fees to be established for Internet access to records.

  • Establish an administrative process for correcting data errors or omissions. (Initially, an application to correct a data error or omission in an electronic record must be submitted to the clerk of the court, or to the justice of the peace or municipal court judge.

  • Add to the list of administrative records that are closed to the public, including (a) information that a remote user has accessed a particular court record; and (b) records generated by participants in judicial education programs, such as assessments and test scores.

  • Authorize a custodian to contract with a private company or public organization to provide specialized bulk or compiled data reports to those who request them.

  • Require a custodian to enter into a data dissemination contract prior to releasing bulk or compiled data to the public.

  • For bulk data, authorize the release, other than for a petitioner seeking an order of protection, of a complete date of birth (instead of month and year of birth only) and last four digits of a social security number.

Impact

  • Arizona judicial officers, clerks, administrators, and staff have such access to records as needed to carry out their assigned duties and as directed by their supervisor.

  • The amendments make no change to the public’s right of access to paper or electronic records at an individual court facility.

  • Clerks in those courts providing remote electronic access to records may have to make modifications to the information presented. For example, any case that is publically available online must prominently display current charge dispositions.

  • The Clerk will need to assure that a dissemination agreement and disclaimer has been executed for bulk data requests; and that a memorandum of understanding (records access agreement) has been executed for governmental entities and public purpose organizations to have remote electronic access.

  • Court administrators should note that records of judicial participants in education programs are now closed.

  • On a request for review of a denial of access to records, the presiding judge may have a designee issue a decision.

  • Additional sections of the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (§§1-604, 1-605, and 1-606) may be adopted in late December 2009 or January 2010 concerning these amendments to Rule 123.

See also Civil Rule 5(f) and Criminal Rule 2.3(b) infra.