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May 12, 2013

Court Clerk’s office goes digital; records available online

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Court Clerk Kim Henry implemented a digital record system May 7 and now the public will have the ability to view court documents online.
Documents will be scanned and placed on the Oklahoma State Court Network under their case number.
Documents available for download will be highlighted in blue. 
All court documents open for public viewing will be available online, excluding those protected under court order.
Additionally, Henry has requested that court records such as citations or those containing victim’s information, be kept offline to avoid the release of personal information.
“It is very important to provide the public with direct access to court records,” Kim Henry said. “Saying this, it is also critical that privacy is protected where necessary and possible.”
Citations include the social security numbers, address and birthdates of the individuals, according to Henry.
Sometimes the information can create additional security issues for victims of domestic violence or other crimes, she added.
Based on Henry’s previous law enforcement experience, she recognizes the potential harm that full access to online records could create.
Online access to some records may be limited, but all public records are available in the court clerk’s office in accordance with the Oklahoma Open Records Act, according to Henry.
The new online format will allow individuals, attorneys or other parties involved in legal action to print documents directly from their personal computers.
This will save printing costs, reducing expenses and ultimately saving tax dollars, Henry added.
“We will save money and provide a valuable public service at the same time,” Henry said. 
People will no longer need to make a trip to the courthouse simply to get a copy of the documents, she added.
Since taking office in January, Henry said she is making increased accessibility and public convenience a priority.
The former clerk had requested the upgrade, however Rogers County was set to be one of the last locations to be completed, according to Henry.
The court network technicians said the system could be installed at anytime; there was no reason to wait, she added.
“Recognizing the benefit to the public, I promptly requested the system be installed as soon as possible,” Henry said.

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