Thursday, September 22, 2011

Information added to Vanderburgh Government Links

Thanks to Tami Johnson at Rudolph, Fine, Porter & Johnnson for providing 6 new resource links in the Vanderburgh section of our Indiana local information directory! This directory is slowly but surely becoming a comprehensive resource with the help of our informed friends.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Indiana Judiciary Goes into Business

The Indiana Supreme Court issued an Order Concerning the Bulk Distribution of and Remote Access To Court Records in the Electronic Form on 9/13/2011. This is significant for two reasons: it permits bulk access to information stored in the state judiciary's case management system; and, it allows the judiciary to charge a fee greater than the cost of reproduction for bulk and remote access to information.
Allowing bulk access to the information stored in the judiciary's case management system (Odyssey) is a good thing. This will allow Doxpop and more than a dozen other organizations to spread the news about what is happening or has happened in the courts. This increases the transparency of our court system and allows the will of the courts to be more widely known.
The Order and its contemporaneous Order Amending Indiana Administrative Rules allow the judiciary to set its own rates and charge for bulk and remote access to court case information in electronic form. On October 1, 2011, the judiciary will be entering the information services business, effectively creating a profit center within the judiciary. This is a concern because it means that the judiciary is no longer devoted exclusively to the even-handed administration of justice; it also has a business to run.
Doxpop submitted its first formal request for access to this public information on October 25, 2007 and has renewed that request annually. I am pleased that the Court has worked through the policy and technical issues, but a bit disappointed that it took nearly 4 years.
During the past four years, the judiciary has maintained a firm policy that self-funded businesses may not charge more than the cost of reproduction when providing the service of delivering court data in bulk. The decision that a publicly funded agency may now make a profit for providing the same service represents an abrupt change to say the least. Lawmakers might well ask whether this change in the rules will apply evenly to all service providers, public and private. I hope that the same policy applies; it will bolster the reputation of the judiciary as a bastion of fair and consistent administration of rules.
This is my fervent hope: that the judiciary will exercise good judgment in avoiding conflicts of interest between operating its own information services business and in regulating other businesses with which it sometimes competes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome Sullivan County--And a few other county announcements

We have a few county announcements to share with you today.

First of all, we are very excited to announce the addition of the Sullivan County Recorder to the Doxpop database. Information on mortgages, deeds, liens, and other documents filed from July 2004 and forward can be now be researched on Doxpop. A very special thanks goes out to Sullivan Recorder Shelly Parris and her staff for making this effort possible.

We also have a few announcements regarding the removal of records of two Doxpop county providers.

Doxpop is removing Allen Criminal cases from our system due to Allen County's recent conversion to the Odyssey Case Management system. We have maintained this historical data without updates since February 2011 to ease the transition as Allen migrates to their new case management system. To access current criminal case information for Allen County, go to http://mycase.in.gov. Non-probate civil cases for Allen County continue to be available and regularly updated on Doxpop.

We also must announce the removal of records from the Madison County Recorder's office. Madison County is currently migrating to Fidlar's "Laredo" system. On October 1st, 2011 the transition will be complete, and all recorded documents for Madison County will be available through Laredo and cease to be available via Doxpop. On October 1st, Madison County's records will become available on a pay-as-you-go basis via Tapestry (http://tapestry.fidlar.com) for lower-volume users.

We have enjoyed our partnership with Allen and Madison counties and wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

Stay tuned for more announcements as we continue to add more county information providers to our services!