Online Court Records: Balancing Judicial Accountability and Privacy in an Age of Electronic Information

24 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2012  

Peter A. Winn

University of Washington - School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2004

Abstract

This article examines the traditional balance courts have reached between the disclosure of information generated by the judicial process and the need at times to limit the disclosure of that information. The article then examines how this traditional balance is upset when judicial information is placed online. The article argues that as courts adapt to a world of electronic information, new rules and practices must be established to maintain the policies underlying the traditional balance. While there must continue to be a presumption of openness, courts must limit the disclosure of judicial information when it threatens the effective administration of justice and when necessary in order to protect the safety and privacy of individuals participating in the judicial process.

Keywords: privacy, access to information, public records, court records, PACER, online records, courts, civil procedure, criminal procedure

Suggested Citation

Winn, Peter A., Online Court Records: Balancing Judicial Accountability and Privacy in an Age of Electronic Information (February 1, 2004). Washington Law Review, Vol. 79, No. 1, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2155282

Peter A. Winn (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

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