Silly laws: what to do with court records, sex offenders

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has instituted new rules that abolish fees for petitions to unseal cases. However, the rules require notification of the case parties by the person seeking to unseal the records. The court also ruled that financial statements are public records but that they could be sealed!

Meanwhile, Maryland legislators are considering whether to add juveniles as young as 13 years old to the sex offender registry upon conviction of a qualifying crime. Most states keep the names of juvenile defendants confidential. Another proposal would create a “no sex offenders zone” of a half mile around school yards, which other states have found is counter productive. Apparently the registrants become transient because, it turns out, if you draw a half mile ring around every school there’s nowhere for them to live!


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