Monthly Archives: July 2008

Pennsylvania Government Contracts Database Launched

This week brought the much anticipated launch of Pennsylvania’s government contract database. On February 14, 2008, Pennsylvania’s governor signed into a Right-to-Know-Law that effectively expanded the type of information available to the general public addressed access to this information. In a posting from February, I discussed this new law, and the promises the government made behind it. Well, the new online database is one product of this new law, which is a big step forward for the Pennsylvania government, showing they are trying to make good on their promises.

The database, also known as the Pennsylvania Contracts e-Library will be … Read More

Find Money During an Economic Slump: Search Unclaimed Property Records

A couple weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail stating that a company had been trying to reach me, and if I did not claim my check, it would be sent to an unclaimed property department. It was great getting a letter that there was an unclaimed check waiting for me. After all, who doesn’t need a little extra money, especially in this economy? Once I phoned the company, I was even more excited to find out that I was, in fact owed the money. After my newly acquired $92.07 check, I became intrigued by the concept of … Read More

Juvenile Court Records

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If a person under has committed a crime, but is under the age of 18, this can greatly affect their journey through the US legal system. Individuals under the age of 18, also referred to as minors, will have different legal options depending on their age, type of crime committed, and whether they are a first time offender.

For example, if a judge determines that a crime is minor, and the child has a parent or guardian who is generally a good disciplinarian, then a judge may allow the juvenile to return home under routine visits from a probation officer, … Read More

The Role of The Secretary of State in Public Records

We know that the Secretary of State is an important political post, but what exactly, is their role? In the United States federal government, the Secretary of State – currently Condoleezza Rice – holds the responsibility of managing affairs related to foreign policy. However, in addition to a federal Secretary of State, each state also has its own Secretary of State. The state specific Secretaries of State are responsible for many administrative governmental functions in your state. Two functions of the Secretaries of State which are especially important in the world of public records are elections and corporate/business registrations and … Read More

Rhode Island May Expand Reach of Criminal Records Expungement Law

Access to criminal records is a controversial topic on many accounts. Criminal background checks for employment are often important safeguards to protecting vulnerable members of our communities, such as minors and the elderly. It can also help ensure that sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands. For example, a job where employees have access to bank accounts or social security numbers may not be the best position for a person convicted of identity theft crimes. Yet, the flip side of this argument is that access to criminal records can also create an unfair stigma, especially for first time … Read More

Accessing High Profile Cases in Florida

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Are you interested in finding out about high profile cases in
Florida? The Florida Supreme Court has clearly made a commitment to making public information easily accessible to interested parties.  At their website,
www.floridasupremecourt.org, there is a link called “Public Information.  The link takes you to a page with over 20 additional links to an abundance of information, including High Profile Cases, Court Documents, Court Orders, Death Warrant Cases, Opinions & Rules, Trial Court Statistics, etc.

However, because the most popular part of the “Public Information page is the High Profile Case section, for the convenience of the users, Read More

What Can You Find In Your Local Recorder €™s Office?

In most states throughout the U.S., there is a recorders office in each county. These offices hold a very critical post in the community. Many important life events are recorded through the Recorder’s Office. The Recorder’s office is responsible for filing and maintaining land transaction records, vital records, and powers of attorney.

Land transactions managed by a recorder’s office can include deeds and liens. Deeds concerning land transactions are signed documents which transfer an interest in property.  If you own a house, there will be a deed which will list you as the owner as well as when the property … Read More

Municipal Court Records

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In addition to federal laws and state laws, there are also laws created by a city or town, which are called municipal ordinances.  A municipal ordinance is only applicable within the boundaries of the municipality. In many states, there are specific courts which deal only with cases involving violations of municipal ordinances, called Municipal Courts.  If you have ever received a traffic ticket, and fought it in court, then you likely encountered a municipal court. 

The types of cases heard in Municipal courts can include infractions and certain minor criminal offenses such as misdemeanors.   An infraction can include a parking … Read More