Monthly Archives: March 2014

What Happened at Your Local Council Meeting?

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Have you attended a City Council or County Commission meeting in your area recently? Do you want to know what is scheduled for an upcoming Council meeting or what happened at the last Commission meeting?

In a recent article in The Seattle Times, entitled “Talk of the Town,” by Nancy Bartley, Seattle Times staff reporter, cities and towns around the country are establishing new rules regarding public meetings. Cities and counties are experiencing citizens that use public comment time during meetings to discuss a political candidate, sell a product, or promote a blog. According to Tim Ford, former Ombudsman for … Read More

Juvenile Records – Sealing or Expungement

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In our July 2008 post about juvenile court records, we noted that most juvenile court records are confidential. This is done to protect the juvenile, on the theory that juveniles are more prone to bad decisions than adults (i.e., they do “dumb things”), but that they can be rehabilitated. Law enforcement agencies and the court system can see juvenile records, but the general public cannot.

Background checks for the purposes of employment and housing – and sometimes for college admission, financial aid, etc. – are the general public’s main interest in court records. Since most juveniles are not yet … Read More

WHY STATE COURTS MATTER.

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From our early civics lessons we know that there are two court systems in the United States judiciary-federal and state.  On this CourtReference site, we focus exclusively on the courts from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  State courts have broad jurisdiction to interpret the laws that govern our everyday lives: where we live, where we work, with whom we marry, procreate, and divorce (or any combination thereof!), and where we ultimately may be laid to rest.  From cradle to grave, we abide by the laws of our resident state, and are subject to the rulings … Read More

Voter Information and Upcoming Elections

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With local and statewide elections coming up this month and in April, you may be wondering what is on the ballot, where to vote or how to register to vote . You can get answers to these questions and more by using our “Voter Records and Elections Information Resources” website.

On the main “Voter Records” webpage, click on the name of your state for statewide election information, voter registration, campaign finance, election results, and more. For information at the local level, you can scroll to your specific county, city or town. Some municipalities will have online information and … Read More