Claremore Daily Progress

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October 8, 2013

Oklahoma legislator looks to broaden Open Records Act

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“My understanding is you guys scan in at least every single document and it’s a matter of selecting whether it’s available online or not available online,” Stiles said. Sullivan said he could not confirm whether all documents are scanned or not.

The lack of uniformity should go away when a new $13 million filing system database that links all 77 counties, but it has been plagued by delays. Counties currently use two completely separate programs. Thirteen mostly larger counties and the appellate courts are on the Oklahoma State Court Network, while the rest of the counties are on the On Demand Court Records system.

The hearing also examined restricting which court records should be sealed and whether to authorize a civil cause of action for violations of the Open Records Act.

“The ones that bother us are not necessarily the ones that are sealed up in the interest of justice. It’s the one sealed up in the interest of the judge and sometimes the interest of the clerk,” said Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association.

Open records are important for the public to have faith and confidence in the judiciary, Thomas said.

 

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