This week in public records – Florida – Texas – California

Rules proposed to reduce court secrecy

The Florida Bar is recommending statewide rules that would make it harder to seal court records and bar judges from hiding the existence of entire court cases, a process known as super-sealing.

The proposed rules, unanimously approved by the executive committee of the Bar’s board of governors, would impose tough new requirements on those who seek to make civil or criminal court records confidential. ”It’s pretty much of a home run for the advocates of openness,” said Miami First Amendment attorney Tom Julin. “It’s creating very serious hurdles for anyone who wants to seal records.”

As part of the Virtual Neighborhood Border Watch Program, the State of Texas has been testing video surveillance cameras in different environments along the 1240 miles of Texas/Mexico border using the internet to transmit the images.

The San Jose Police Department, in California, is making traffic accident reports available online. The site lists the categories of people to whom the reports can lawfully be released. A last name of the driver or injured party and the report ID number must be provided.

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