Just a few years ago, some courts started making court records and calendars available via mobile apps; we talked about it here. Those services required an iOS, Android, or BlackBerry app to be downloaded to your mobile device.
Since we last covered this topic, more court systems have offered mobile app access to their case records, calendars, and other information. Examples abound:
In Illinois, the Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court offers downloadable iOS and Android apps that include case record searches, traffic ticket searches, court location information and mapping, a fee schedule, and contact information.
In Ohio, the Toledo Municipal Court court calendar and fine payment app that our previous post said was on the way has arrived. Even better, it also includes a case record search. From the Clerk of Court’s website, you can still run a traditional website search for case records and schedules, or online fine payments, from links in the left column. But you can get the same information via a web app, which you can download from a link in the right column.
The above services require an app download. Some court systems are now offering mobile searches via a web app, which does not require a download and can be used by any device. For example:
In Pennsylvania, Philadephia’s Court of Common Pleas still offers downloadable iOS and Android apps to access upcoming hearing lists and docket entries for civil cases. But it also offers a web app (no download required) to access hearing lists for upcoming criminal cases.
Kansas’s statewide District Court case records search is now optimized for mobile use; no app download is required, and the results are the same for all devices – but the service does require payment per search or by subscription, regardless of device.
Finally, South Carolina’s Charleston County Clerk of Courts now offers case record searches via a no-download web app called Court Plus. Just go to the website on your smartphone, tablet, or PC and run your search. You can search Charleston County Circuit Court and Family Court records by party name, case number, or attorney’s bar number. You don’t even have to register – but if you do, you get access to enhanced services such as notifications or the ability to create a list of “favorite” cases. (I’m not sure how one decides that a case is a “favorite” but at least they don’t ask you to “like” a case!)
Note that you can also search Charleston County Family Court cases using a traditional website. The information provided by the two services is not identical; the traditional website search provides more information about events in the case, while the Court Plus web app provides more information about individual filings. You can also search Charleston County Circuit Court cases on the South Carolina Judicial Department’s statewide public index website.
As you can see, access to court records, calendars, and other court information is expanding and being made available to devices other than your desktop PC. It seems like only a few years ago that the only access was a search of hardcopy documents in file drawers in your local court clerk’s office. To keep up with the latest developments in court information access, keep an eye on CourtReference.