Public Record Update
March 2013
Courts News
California Court Record Fees Changes Pending
The grim financial state of the California Judiciary is well known. In an effort to help remedy this situation, the CA Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has submitted legislation that alters the fee structure for public access to court records.

The current law, part of Government Code Section 70627(c), states if a search of records or files conducted by a court employee takes more than 10 minutes, a $15.00 fee is charged. The new law changes this to be $10.00 per name searched or per file or per other information requested, regardless of the time spent by the clerks office. Thus if one does a name search and there are 4 case files to review, the fee would be $50.00. Also, the new law raises the court copy fee from $.50 a page to $1.00 per page.

The judiciary used closed door committee sessions to write this law change and submitted the text to the governor's finance department who in turn will add this as a "trailer" to existing budget-related legislation.

An interesting article about this development was written by According to the story, evidently a lobbyist with the AOC stated the trailer bill is aimed at "data miners." This statement would indicate the AOC (or at least this lobbyist) is not very knowledgeable about how the "court record food chain" works - meaning the lobbyist is not familiar with from who and why the majority of court record requests are generated.

The bill language can be viewed at the CA Deptment of Finance site at Click on Corrections and General Government [200-299], then view number 204, and scroll down to page 4.

Pending California Court Closures and Cutbacks
Four public notices and requests for public input were recent filed by county Superior Courts.

Kings County
Reduction in hours and staffing at Corcoran location effective May 13, 2013.

Los Angeles County
Closure of the Beacon Street Courthouse in San Pedro and reassignment of cases to Long Beach effective on or about April 22, 2013.

San Bernardino County
Closure and re-assignment of cases effective May 6, 2013 for courts in Barstow, Big Bear, and Needles.

Tehama County
Closure of Corning location and re-assignment of cases to Red Bluff effective June 30, 2013.

Under Government Code section 68106, courts must provide written notice to the public and to the Judicial Council at least 60 days before putting into effect a plan to reduce costs by closing courtrooms or clerks' offices or reducing clerks' office hours. The council must post all such notices on this Internet site within 15 days of receiving them. These notices may be viewed at

New Hampshire Courts
The Circuit Court system in New Hampshire has established a new, single phone number for ALL courts. The new phone number is 855.212.1234. This number offers the caller a choice of the District, Family or Probate court. All of the old published Circuit Court phone numbers are scheduled to be disconnected on or about March 25, 2013. The "855" number has actually been in use since January 2013.

Motor Vehicle News
Pending Changes to ACD Codes
The AAMVA Code Dictionary (ACD) is a key component to driving records. The ACD Codes reflect provisions in federal regulations dealing with commercial drivers. The states use the codes to identify the type or reason for a conviction and the reason for a driver withdrawal such as a suspension, revocation or withdrawal when communicating with the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) or with the Problem Driver Pointer Systems (PDPS). Many states have adopted these three-character codes in their own proprietary conviction code tables, especially when indicating out-of-state convictions.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators ( AAMVA is the copyrighted owner of the ACD. AAMVA recently released a new version - ACD Release 5.0.0 - which is scheduled to take effect on September 1, 2013. There are additions, deletions, and revisions of codes.

An overview of these changes appears at Click on the "About ACD Codes."

The Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts changed its primary web page. The home page was now it is Normally this is not a big deal because changed sites will normally redirect. However there are certain MA sites that will not redirect to the direct page needed. Here is a short list of new sites:
Recorded Documents News
Wyoming Changes Fees and UCC Durations
Effective July 1, 2013, the state of Wyoming is extending the duration of a UCC filing from five years to ten years and also the effective term of continuation statement from five years to ten years. House Bill 3, signed by the governor on 2/14/2013 amends WS § 34.1-9-515(a).

Also effictive July 1,2013, a number of fee increases take place. Per House Bill 98 , which modifies WS § 18-3-402, there is a $4.00 filing fee increase from $8.00 to $12.00 for the first page of a recording or a lien and a $10.00 increase from $10.00 to $20.00 for filing and indexing an original financing and termination statement. The certification of a document increases from $3.00 to $5.00 and a lien search and certification increases from $10.00 to $20.00.

More States Enacting the 2010 Amendments to UCC Article 9
Over the past several years, states' filing offices have been busy gaining legislative approval for implementing the amendments to Article 9 (Secured Transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code. The changes are to go into affect July 1, 2013. Approx. 80% of the states have passed laws to date.

On March 20, 2013, Montana's governor signed HB212 to enact the 2010 amendments to Article 9. Legislation in Mississippi (SB2609) and New Mexico (SB146) have also recently been passed and bills been sent to their governors for signature.

The transition to the 2010 Amendments means many states will need to change their UCC Forms. An excellent array of sample new forms is provided by the Texas Secretary of State at

Upcoming National Conferences and Tradeshows
Here is a short, selected list of national associations with upcoming conferences. The hot links are direct to the web page about the conference.

AIIP - April 3-7, Denver CO
NDIA - April 4-5, Seattle, WA
NAPBS - April 14-17, Arlington VA
NAPBS - April 18-20, Phoenix, AZ
IAPSC - April 21-24, Napa, CA
SCIP - May 6-9, Orlando, FL
NALI - June 15-15, New Orleans, LA
SHRM - June 16-19, Chicago, IL
ACFE - June 23-28, Las Vegas NV

A great resource of upcoming conferences for state associations of private investigators is found at the PI Magazine's web page at
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