Judicial Branch Puts All Civil Case Documents Online
Records that won't be available include those with Social Security numbers or items that have been ordered non-public by a judge or statute. Certain medical records, for instance, will not be uploaded onto the website.
Palmer said the idea was to make state's Superior Court records as open as possible. "I would say as a society, we've seen a tremendous move toward allowing access at any day of time or day," she said. "This will allow attorneys, and anyone else for that matter, to look at any case that interests them, even in the middle of the night."
The online access will be for civil matters only. There are no plans to include criminal or family court case files anytime soon.
In expanding public access to civil court files on the Internet, Palmer said there was some concern that jurors might try to access court records during a trial, which would be a violation of court rules and could lead to mistrials.
To address that concern, administrators have created a function which will prevent public access to records of any case once jury selection begins. However, access to that case's records will still be permitted at any clerk of court location, or by lawyers or court personnel using court-provided computers in law libraries and at clerk's offices in courthouses.
"It was important for us to avoid any problems during trials," Palmer said. "At the same time, if someone wants to get information about a case, or to see a document, they will still be able to do that during a trial."
Documents in some cases that have answer dates after Jan 1 are already available through the Judicial Branch website. The web address is www.jud.ct.gov/jud2.htm.