Public Record Update
Feb 2014
Court News: Pima County, AZ

The Pima County Consolidated Justice Court in Arizona is currently moving case information from an old system into a new system. The following information is important.

  1. At this time court record searching is extremely limited and the Court cannot provide an exact time table when the transfer will be complete.
  2. Also, the court is advising that all searches performed since Feb. 1, 2014 may be inaccurate. The court advises not to use data received after this date until the court is able to resolve the accuracy issues.

So expect delays in regards to record searching at this court. This court services the city of Tucson. Note Pima County is the 42nd largest county in the U.S. The court's web page is www.jp.pima.gov.

San Luis Obispo Superior Court (CA) Cuts Criminal Record Services

With severe cutbacks in the budget and loss of staff, public record services for criminal records from the San Luis Obispo Superior Court is now virtually at a standstill. Employers, schools, landlords, and the general public have been denied most all criminal record requests for nearly a month since the court implemented a new case management system.

This is a "clerk searched" court. The criminal data is not online and the docket index is not available to the general public. There are five factors involved.

1. The court has a public access terminal which displays the basic criminal record index. However several years ago, the Court Executive Officer Susan Matherly moved the terminal to a back room and she will only allow the news media and attorneys access to this "public" terminal. All others, including the biggest users of public records (employers and their representatives) are denied access to the terminal and must submit lists.

2. Although the clerks will process criminal record requests at the window if the request is limited to one or two names or cases, all requests with more than two names have been held in limbo for four weeks. According to PRRN Member Judie Smith (who has over 1,000 name requests outstanding), the manager of the Criminal Department Karen Leibscher and Ms. Matherly both refuse to speak to her, or to other representatives processing work for employers, about the back log and when the requests will be completed.

3. As mentioned, the court recently instituted new case management system. This new system contains only open or current cases. When the new system was installed, the clerks lost access to case details for historical cases on the record docket: the old system was shut down. For example, the clerks now only have access to the name and case number for closed cases. So in order to find details such as the charge, the disposition, sentencing, VOP, dates, etc., the paper case file must be pulled and viewed.

4. All closed case files are stored offsite, most files are several blocks away. Therefore per state regulations (see www.courts.ca.gov/documents/feetable09.doc), a fee of $15.00 is charged for each case file pulled since it will take more than 10 minutes to obtain. For a great many requests/instances, this procedure and fee would not be necessary if the court had kept and made available the historical docket data. Because all case files now need to be pulled, the public is faced with a rather drastic fee increase for record searching in this county.

5. In regards to record requests originating from employers and landlords for background checks, these requests made to this court are highly regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and by CA Civil Code 1786. Plus, court data is only accessed and provided because of the expressed written consent of the consumer (who wants to be hired, etc.). The reality is the vast majority of the names are "clear" - meaning the record search shows no conviction. Thus, without the use of the terminal and historical docket index (which can provide the normal same day or 1 day turnaround time), the consumer who wishes to be hired now faces at least a 30 day delay in this county.

The Court has a new Presiding Judge- Dodie Harman. The court's phone number is 805-781-5143. The court's web page is http://slocourts.net.

Vital Record Fee Increases in CA and IA
California

Effective January 1, 2014, the fee for obtaining a certified copy of a birth certificate increased from $20 to $25, for a death certification from $16 to $21, for a fetal death certificate from $13 to $18, and for a marriage certificate from $14 to $15. The price increase is in place for documents ordered at either the county level or state level.

Iowa

Effective January 1, 2014, the fee for obtaining a certified copy of a vital record (birth, marriage, divorce) increased from $15 per record to $20 per record. The Iowa Bureau of Vital Records does keep a divorce index, but no record copies are available. Divorce records are found at the county court issuing the decree. In general, divorce records are available from 1880.

Latest on CDL/CLP Holders and Medical Examiner's Certificate

The following article is taken from The 2014 MVR Access and Decoder Digest.

Per federal law, drivers of commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in excess of 10,001 pounds and who are driving in interstate commerce within the United States, Canada and Mexico must obtain and maintain a Medical Examiner's Certificate. This law pertains to commercial driver's license holders (CDL) as well as commercial learner's permit holders (CLP).

CDL and CLP drivers are also required to provide to their state's driver licensing agency (SDLA) a copy of their Certificate, and this information is being added to the driving record. Also, this information is placed on the Commercial Drivers' License System (CDLIS).

Interstate motor carriers are also required to retain copies of their drivers' medical certificates in their driver qualification files so the document is available upon request on the roadside by officials. In January 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration amended the regulation to extend the deadline of this requirement from January 30, 2014 to January 30 2015. The reason for this extension is to insure the information is documented adequately until all the state motor vehicle agencies are able to post and comply electronically. Otherwise drivers would get cited.

Visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl-general-info.aspx for more information about the Medical Examiner's Certificate.

See www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2014/digest-14-01-10.aspx for information about the extension.

Oregon Recorded Documents

Effective January 1, 2014, a $5.00 fee increase has been imposed for recording many different types of documents by the local County Recorder offices, per HB 2417. The recording officer is the County Clerk.

Per passage of a different bill ( HB 2093) amends Oregon Revised Statute 432.124. This makes it illegal for Oregon County Clerks from recording certified copies of Death Certificates if the Death Certificate contains medical information related to the cause of death.

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