Category Archives: Finding Court Records

Online Access to Virginia Circuit Court Cases

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Virginia provides good access for the public to search circuit court cases online.  Case information that is normally available includes the case number, party names, and filing date. Civil cases show the type of case and criminal cases show the offense date, charge, disposition and defendant’s date of birth. The date of birth is standardly abbreviated for privacy concerns.

Buckingham County had removed itself from the online court case information system as the court clerk had been concerned that potential jurors might use the system to research cases. However, at the request of the public, Buckingham County is now … Read More

Hate crimes and how they affect all of us

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Hate crimes are criminal acts perpetrated against people, organizations or property because of the group to which the victim is perceived to belong.  This group is usually defined by race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation but can also include  disability, ethnicity, age or polititical affiliation.

On October 28, 2009, President Obama expanded the federal hate crimes law by signing a law that makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of sexual orientation or gender identity.  More than 77,000 hate-crime incidents were reported between 1998-2007, according to the FBI.  While hate crimes are prosecuted at the federal level, … Read More

Proposal to Limit Access to Wisconsin Court Records

Wisconsin offers free online access to the state’s court records, both criminal and civil, through the Wisconsin Court System and known as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA).  Court records are public information and Wisconsin does a good job making this information readily available to the public in a timely manner and free of charge.

A Wisconsin Representative, Marlin Schneider of Wisconsin Rapids, wants to change this.  Mr. Schneider has introduced a bill whereby the WCCA would only show information if a case either shows a conviction or finding of civil liability. Additionally, under his bill, only judges, police, attorneys and … Read More

Paying Court Fines Online

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As our society and our everyday activities, including paying bills, move more and more online, it becomes natural to expect the ease of online access to apply to that most frustrating of chores – paying a traffic ticket. As consumers, we desire the ease and speed of paying tickets online and our courts reap the benefits of not having court personnel tied up with processing these payments. 

The ability to pay these tickets, and other court fees, online varies greatly from state to state and even county to county. Some states and counties have a wide range of court functions … Read More

Nuisance Claims

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A nuisance isn’t just an annoying person, it is actual a legal concept, one which can be sued upon.  In legal terms, a nuisance occurs through the unlawful or unreasonable use of land that causes an injury, or interferes with rights of another person, or the public.  In the legal system, tenants and landowners actually possess a legal right to enjoy their property.  This right is known as the right of quiet enjoyment.  If an activity interferes with this right, this could constitute a legal nuisance.

A nuisance interferes in a person or a community’s enjoyment by causing damages, danger, … Read More

Contracts in the Legal System

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Contracts are often a part of our lives in one form or another.  Between documents such as leases, mortgages, business agreements, most people have likely become a party to contract at least once in their lives.  Essentially a contract is a document which legally binds the relevant parties to certain acts or responsibilities.  Implementing a contractual agreement provides protection to the parties, and legal remedies if the contract is not fulfilled.

To create a legally binding contract between parties requires three ingredients.  Offer, acceptance of the offer, and consideration (an exchange of something of value).  The thing of value does … Read More

Class Action Lawsuits

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In litigation situation, there may be more than one party affected. It is not uncommon for a case to involve multiple plaintiffs and/or multiple defendants. There is a special name for cases where with multiple plaintiff’s: Class Action.

A class action lawsuit occurs when more than one person with a similar “injury” file a lawsuit against a person or entity. The injury does not necessarily have to be physical, it can also be financial. Common class action categories include injury from a defective product (products liability), breach of contract, securities fraud, and employment discrimination. The individuals who initiate the lawsuit … Read More

Commercial Courts

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With high profile business violations such as those found with Enron and the rise of technology and internet companies including million to billion dollar mergers or lawsuits it seems that legal issues involving business are a regular part of the news.  Also, if you are a business owner, you know that legal issues may eventually become a part of your world.

Often court proceedings involving business transactions or business relationships can become very complex and time consuming.  As such, many states, including New York Oregon have created special divisions that are specifically responsible for business cases.  These divisions are usually … Read More

Jurisdiction and Court Records

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Jurisdiction is one of the most important concepts in the legal community.  Cases can easily be lost based on jurisdiction.  So, what makes it so important?  Jurisdiction essentially gives the court the authority to handle a case.  Having jurisdiction allows a legal authority, such as a judge, the power to hear the legal matters and make final decisions.  Three of the most important types of jurisdiction include Personal Jurisdiction, Territorial Jurisdiction, and Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  Each of these plays a different role in they types of cases to be heard by a court.

Personal Jurisdiction is the power of a … Read More

Using Court Records for Background Investigations

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Background investigations are an interesting method for uncovering the truth about those we may or may not want to let into our lives.   Background investigation is the process of viewing records to find out the history of a person.   These investigations are commonly performed by employers, especially for jobs where there may be access to sensitive information.  However, private individuals may also be interested in running background investigations on certain people in their lives.  A thorough background investigation can produce information including full name, address, employment history, financial history, and criminal history.  It seems that as the world becomes a … Read More