Monthly Archives: April 2008

Pennsylvania Continues to Make Strides In Open Records

In the world of open government records, 2008 has been exciting year in Pennsylvania. In February 2008, the Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, signed an open records bill which created the presumption that all government records are open to the public, absent a few exceptions. If a government agency refuses to make certain requested information public, then it is the government’s responsibility to show why the information should not be public. This law will officially go into effect on January 1, 2009.

In another step towards expanding public access to government records, a new Office of Open Records will also … Read More

Landlord Tenant Laws

      No Comments on Landlord Tenant Laws

Most states enact their own specific Landlord/Tenant laws. However, the general subject matter includes rental agreements and a requirement to act in good faith from both the tenant and the landlord. Landlords are also required to comply with the building and housing codes as well as supply basic needs such as running water, hot water, and heat. These laws also discuss timing requirements. For example, in most states, a landlord must provide his tenant with 30 days notice of a rent increase.

Landlord/Tenant laws also cover eviction processes. Again, depending on your state, the time requirements for eviction vary. In … Read More

Most Wanted Criminals

      No Comments on Most Wanted Criminals

Are you concerned that a criminal is in your neighborhood? Or perhaps you ‘ve seen someone participating in suspicious activity. Reviewing the Most Wanted pages can be a great way to set your mind at ease, or help your state and country apprehend dangerous criminals. People on the Most Wanted list include bank robbers, extortionists, kidnappers, murders, and terrorists.  Providing information that leads to an arrest of a dangerous criminal can also result in substantial rewards, sometimes into the millions of dollars.  

The Federal Government maintains a list of Most Wanted criminals on the FBI website. However, most states also … Read More

Administrative Agency Appeals

      No Comments on Administrative Agency Appeals

If you are looking for records for cases related to the denial of unemployment benefits, or perhaps the denial of a driver’s license, these denials likely came from an Administrative Agency.

Administrative Agencies operate at both the Federal and the State level. Federal Administrative Agencies are granted their power by the Congress while State Legislatures grant power to the State Administrative Agencies.

Agencies are generally used to enforce rights of the general public and they can vary in size and function. Most states have a Department of Licensing or an agency which handles unemployment. Additionally, many states have unique agencies … Read More

Legislation Brings Domestic Violence Database One Step Closer to Reality

In California, a database providing information about convicted domestic violence offenders could soon become a reality. On April 9, 2008, the California State Assembly Public Safety Committee approved legislation to create such a database. The Bill, AB 1771 was introduced in January by Assembly Member Ma. The Bill, also known by many as the “domestic violence database bill, requires the Attorney General to “develop an Internet Web site that is available to the public that contains certain information about persons who have been convicted of at least one felony domestic violence offense or at least two misdemeanor domestic violence offenses. … Read More

Mental Illness Case Information

      2 Comments on Mental Illness Case Information

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “about one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.” Mental illness can be a heartbreaking burden for the sufferers and their loved ones; and occasionally, the effects of mental illness cross paths with the legal system.

Two types of mental illness cases exist in the U.S. court systems. These include Mental Health Courts and involuntary commitments. Mental Health Courts are often correlated with the Criminal Court system because the individual has been arrested and charged with a crime. If it is determined that the crime … Read More

What Can Ohio €™s Public Records Laws Do for You? Find Out with Free Seminars!

Citizens of Ohio, are you taking advantage of the information available to you through Ohio’s Public Records laws? These laws were created to provide any interested parties with access to inspect and copy the records of the public offices of Ohio (O.R.C. 149.43). This might sound good, but what does it really mean for you?

Legislation can be wordy and confusing to everyday people, and as a result, many may never take full advantage of all the rights afforded to them. Fortunately, in addition to granting the general public with access to records, the Ohio’s Public Records laws … Read More

What’s In A Name? Locating Name Change Records

Do you need proof of a name change? The process of changing a name requires petitioning, or asking, the court. This means that specific forms need to be completed and filed at the court house, and, once the forms have been filed, there will be a court hearing addressing the reason for the name change. Since name changes do require a court hearing, the records for name change petitions are filed and can be viewed by the public, unless the court determines there is a reason for the information to be sealed.

Name change requests typically occur in a court … Read More