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News & Press: From the Courts

Notice of Opportunity for Comment: Transparency and Privacy Task Force

Tuesday, October 17, 2017  
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Recommendations Presented to the Court in the
Report of the Task Force on Transparency and 
Privacy in Court Records

Comments due on or before December 15, 2017

 

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court invites comments on the recommendations presented to the Court in the Report of the Task Force on Transparency and Privacy in Court Records. 

On March 3, 2017, the SJC created the Task Force and charged it with reviewing all case types and recommending a comprehensive set of procedures to address all court records in light of the evolving methods of digital record creation and storage.  The Task Force membership comprised twenty-one members from a very broad group of stakeholders, including public members, the media, the Maine ACLU, the Attorney General, advocates of victims' groups, and representatives of people involved in family matters, criminal matters, and business cases.  

The Task Force has now delivered a comprehensive report, including multiple attachments that explore the legal, social, governmental, and privacy issues that have been addressed throughout the country regarding the challenges that accompany the digitization of court records.  

The Task Force Charter, membership, report, and supplemental materials can be found here:  http://www.courts.maine.gov/tap/

The Court now invites comments from all members of the public regarding the recommendations of the Task Force and access to digital court records.  Task Force members are themselves invited to comment as well.  Comments may be directed at specific record types or may address concepts of governmental transparency and personal privacy more broadly.  Comments must be in writing, and they may be delivered on paper to this address:

Matthew Pollack, Executive Clerk
Maine Supreme Judicial Court
205 Newbury Street, Room 139
Portland, Maine 04101

Comments may also be emailed in portable document format (.pdf) to lawcourt.clerk@courts.maine.gov. The Clerk's Office will acknowledge receipt of the email via reply email. 

Comments must be no longer than ten pages, and they must be double spaced.  In order to allow sufficient time for consideration of the recommendations and thoughtful organization of comments, the comment period will remain open until December 15, 2017.  

All comments must contain (1) the name and mailing address of the individual submitting the comments; and (2) the name, mailing address, and primary telephone number of the organization (if any) on whose behalf the comments are submitted.  An individual need not be an attorney to submit comments individually or on behalf of an organization.

Comments are public documents and may be posted on the Court's website.

A public hearing regarding access to digital court records is anticipated and will be scheduled after the close of the comment period.  

Dated October 17, 2017

Matthew Pollack
Executive Clerk


Maine Bar Association 124 State St. Augusta, ME 04330