Posted: October 26, 2020
Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed December 10, 2020
CJA04-0202.02. Records Classification (AMEND). Clarifies that all records related to determinations of indigency are private records.
CJA04-0403. Electronic signature and signature stamp use (AMEND). Authorizes judges’ electronic signatures to be automatically affixed to automatic expungement orders.
I do not see any ostensible sound public policy basis behind wanting to deem more and more court records “private”.
The details of litigation in taxpayer-funded courts whose proceedings are public record and open to the public are, with rare exception, subject to public access and scrutiny to ensure that the courts operate in the clear light of day A) as a check on corruption of: the legal process, of judges and court personnel, of lawyers, and of litigants and B) to maintain a real and substantive connection between the public/taxpayer and the administration of justice in society. When any branch of government operates in secret (and/or seeks to operate in secret more) that does nothing to foster or sustain public confidence in it.
The information this rule amendment would make private does not strike me as information that has done significant, if any, harm or any noticeable harm as a result of being public to this point. This proposal appears to be a solution that is not only in search of a problem, but a poorly analyzed and conceived “solution” at that.