This post is part three in a series examining privacy and transparency issues in the context of public access to digital court records, building on my essay “Digital Court Records Access, Social Justice and Judicial Balancing: What Judge Coffin Can Teach Us.”
Maine state courts plan to start rolling out a new electronic filing and case management system by year’s end. When it’s fully operational, approximately 85% of the electronic documents submitted by filers will be immediately accessible for public inspection upon acceptance by the court. With a few exceptions (e.g., certain adoption, child protection, juvenile, and mental health civil commitment records), all criminal, civil, and traffic infractions records would be publicly available. Some records would be accessible only at the courthouse, while others would be accessible to the public both remotely (via the internet) and at the courthouse.
Foolhardy as it seems, the SJC plans to leave it to filers to serve as