Public Record Update
January 2013
Arizona Raising Court Fees
Effective March 13, 2013 a series of fee increases are taking place for the AZ Superior Courts and Justice Courts. These increases affect both the filing of court cases and the access of court records. Filing fees will increase between $2.00 and $8.00, depending on the type of court and type of filing. All record search and certification fees increase by $1.00; the Superior Court from $26 to $27, and the Justice Court from $24 to $25.

The Arizona Code of Judicial Administration gives the Supreme Court the ability to increases fees without legislative guidance. The increase however cannot exceed the percent of change in the U.S. Dept. of Labor Consumer Price Index.

A copy of the Administrative order for the Superior Court fees is found at www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/admcode/pdfcurrentcode/3-404_New_12-2012.pdf.

A copy of the Administrative Order for Justice Courts is found at www.azcourts.gov/Portals/0/admcode/pdfcurrentcode/4-303_New_12-2012.pdf.

Search Tip
There is a particular idiosyncrasy in Arizona that one must be cognizant of when pulling public records. The text in the statute and administrative code calls for a fee if court personnel research when asked to locate a document (per year or source research). The word research is italicized and bolded because a number of Justice Court clerks interpret the meaning of this word different than the Superior Court clerks. The Superior Court clerks will not charge a fee if a file number is given; they do not consider this as research. However many of the Justice Court clerks do consider the retrieval of a file when the case number is given as research and will charge this fee. Hence the fee for many AZ Justice Courts to do a name search to find a file number then and to pull the physical file will increase from $48 to $50. Of course, if there are multiple cases, the fee grows higher.

California Vital Records
Per statute effective January 1, 2013, the fee for certified copies of California birth, death, and fetal death certificates increased by $2.00 per copy. This fee increase took place at all county recorder's offices as well as the state's vital records office.

National Credit Reporting Association (NCRA) Changes Name
Effective January 1, 2013 the National Credit Reporting Association (NCRA) changed its name to the National Consumer Reporting Association. This is the second growth-related name change in NCRA's 20 year history. The organization was founded in 1992 as the National Association of Independent Credit Reporting Agencies (NAICRA).

The name change is a response to better representation of the membership's growing business model. While a majority of NCRA's original membership provides credit reports to the mortgage lending industry, many members provide a wider range of services. A number of NCRA members work with the multi-family housing industry by providing credit reports, eviction records, and criminal background histories for landlords and property managers making rental decisions. Some NCRA members also provide full service background screening.

Search Tip:
Researching a web page of a trade association is a good way to find industry news, vendors, or even perspective new clients. To see a list of 88 trade associations that touch on some aspect of public records, visit this BRB site.

Update on South Dakota Courts
The South Dakota Unified Judicial System (UJS) is in the midst of a case management conversion to a new program (Odyssey). With the 66 counties organized into 7 Circuits, all courts in the 2nd, 3rd & 5th Circuits are currently using Odyssey. The projected time frame for the remainder Circuits converting is Feb. 2013 for the 1st and 6th Circuits, and June 2013 for the 4th and 7th Circuits. When courts are converted, case file documents are imaged and placed into the system. Until all counties/circuits are converted to Odyssey, statewide searches must be done using both systems to ensure the search has captured an entire record search.

Note that effective January 1, 2013, the search fee for a court record from the South Dakota Circuit Courts increased from $15.00 to $20.00. South Dakota is unique in that it offers a centralized Mail Request Center for statewide record searches. While a number of counties provide this service all new mail requesters are being routed to the Spink County Clerk of Court, 210 E 7th Ave, Redfield, SD 57469, 605-472-4535, fax 605-472-4352. See www.sdjudicial.com/courtinfo/cricivrecords.aspx.

The UJS provides a program for ongoing requesters who have multiple searches for criminal, civil and probate records. To set up a commercial account, contact UJS Help Desk, State Court Administrator's Office, 500 East Capitol Ave, Pierre, SD 57501, 605-773-8000, fax: 605-773-8494. Email to UJS.HelpDesk@ujs.state.sd.us.

Search Tip
There is one unadvertised fact to keep in mind about record searching: when asked, the $20.00 fee includes a search of both the civil and criminal record databases, plus the civil money judgment database. If the requester only asks for civil or criminal, then that is what the court provides.

New York Court of Appeals Enhancing Online Services
On February 1, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals is launching a series of enhancements to their online service. The Court of Appeals Public Access and Search System (Court-PASS) will provide a new method for the filing of records and briefs in digital format on appeals to the Court of Appeals and universal online access to these documents through a publicly-searchable database.

Users may search or browse the Court-PASS database free of charge, and may view or download documents from every stage of the case at the Court of Appeals, including motion papers for civil motions in which leave to appeal has been granted by the Court of Appeals, and briefs and records in civil and criminal appeals. Court-PASS also incorporates data already available including videos and transcripts of oral arguments, as well as Court decisions.

See www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/news/nottobar/nottobar011713.pdf.

BRB Web Page Changes
I would like to point out two important facts about the BRB Publications home page.

1. We Now Have New, Extensive Material at brbpublications.com
The key BRB sub pages, such as the page with the free searches at government sites have been broadly changed. The page with the free county and state sites now includes addresses, phone numbers, and home pages for courts and recorders offices, as well as a list of URLs with record searching. There are also 20+ state agencies listed for each state, plus all of their free search sites.

We have recently updated other educational pages including the Articles page and the Links and Resources page. Also, did you know our State Occupational Licensing Boards page shows links to names and enforcement actions on over 5,000 occupations or business types?

We go to great lengths for our subscriber clients who see the full, much deeper data "behind the wall." They see facts and subjective information you cannot find using Google. But providing the "Reader's Digest Version" of the free searchable sites to the public is our way to let you know BRB is are more than just a links list site.

2. The BRB Home Page is NOT www.brbpub.com
We receive several questions every week about the content at www.brbpub.com. Generally we are asked why does it have "x" or how come we are selling record searches. We don't. Since late 2010, this URL is owned by the good folks at Inflection, and not by BRB. This site does provide an extensive array of free public records links and it does offer excellent several record search products. But to set the record straight, if you have bookmarked brbpub.com thinking it is a BRB Publications site, it is not our site.

Thank you.

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