ITD, Supreme Court of Arizona
1501 W. Washington
602-452-3351 [email protected]
Affected portion of petition: added sentence to Supreme Court Rule 29(D), Justice of the Peace and Municipal Court Records, enabling records to be stored in various forms including electronic reproductions or images of originals.
While authorizing retention of electronic records is an appropriate change, it must be treated as a separate issue from enabling the destruction of corresponding paper records. In light of the stated intent of the petitioner in the introduction to "allow the destruction of any corresponding paper document," AOC Information Technology Division has concerns about the lack of safeguards specified within the proposed revision to Rule 29(D). A technical environment and controls must be in place to ensure the preservation and integrity of electronic records throughout their entire lifecycle, prior to destruction of the paper “safety net” that would be used to recreate electronic records in the event of their loss. Enabling destruction of paper court records is premature since the required environment and controls have not yet been formally defined.
LJC's separate attempt to redefine existing technical requirements related to electronic records as codified in ACJA §§ 1-504 through 1-506 met with resistance from Technical Advisory Council (TAC), the technical subcommittee of the Commission on Technology (COT). Members assigned a workgroup to determine and report the specific technical items courts must employ prior to destroying any paper.
ITD acknowledges that a previous rule petition, R-06-0028, amended Rule 94 to enable clerks of the superior court to destroy paper records, but only after assurance of the permanent preservation of the electronic record (which only a single clerk has provided). Though the language from Rule 94(g) is referred to within the issue description ("...providing adequate safeguards are employed for the preservation and integrity of [electronic] documents...) the equivalent requirements from Rule 94 are never specified in the proposed language for Rule 29(D).
ITD recommends that either the provisions for Rule 29(D) be considered separately or that the entire petition be set aside until such time as definitive requirements exist for courts wishing to destroy paper prior to the end of the retention period. Development and communication of these requirements are fundamental to the Court's stated direction of e-filing and have been given high priority. TAC's goal is to deliver them to COT by November 2008.