Monthly Archives: October 2012

Going to Court by Mail

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Court systems continue to develop new ways of streamlining their procedures to reduce their expenses and backlog, and to improve customer service. Last year we noted the rise of telephonic court appearances for self-represented parties in some types of hearings. But “phoning it in” isn’t the only way to avoid a trip to the courthouse. In some areas, it is now possible to contest your traffic ticket by mail.

While telephone hearings are limited to routine motions that don’t require presentation of evidence or sworn testimony, traffic ticket mail contests are the real thing: the determination of guilt or innocence. … Read More

Boy Scout Alleged Sex Abusers

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On October 18, 2012, Kelly Clark, an Oregon attorney, released an online database of the names of over 1200 Scout volunteers accused of sexual abuse between the years of 1965 and 1985. The list was referred to by the Scouts as the “Ineligible Volunteer Files” or “Perversion Files.”

In the October 19, 2012, article by Maureen O’Hagan, Seattle Times staff reporter, entitled “Files on alleged Boy Scout sex abusers go public,” it was reported that the Boy Scouts said in a prepared statement that “the list was a way to keep Scouts safe.” According to the article, the Scout organization … Read More

State Court Records Access-Does the Medium Matter?

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Historically, state courts have offered public access to court records where the information resides-at the local courthouse. Any person willing to travel to the courthouse could request to view and copy records from the court clerk or document custodian in the available format, whether paper or electronic. However, with the emergence of record scanning, data collection and storage, the public has demanded instant delivery of all court documents, including judicial opinions, orders, pleadings, and images. Many state courts have developed web sites and online subscription services to provide virtual access to their records, previously accessible only by physically visiting the … Read More

Augusta Releases New and Improved Property Map

The City of Augusta, Georgia’s Geographic Information System Department has recently made some wonderful new updates to its online property mapping application. The updated map has been designed to make searching for property records and other features as simple as possible. Additionally, the site provides users access to several new features. One of the site’s new features include a community tool to access neighborhood-level information such flood zones, parks, hospitals, schools, solid waste pickup days, and voter information. The map also features aerial photos, parcel street maps views, and property sales records dating back as far as 2003.

In an … Read More