Panel favors online posting of court records Panel favors online posting of court records Comments sought on Internet records recommendations Jan Pudlow Senior Editor As Florida enters the new world of the digital age, the general public should have access to court records over the Internet — just as anyone does walking up to the counter at the court clerk’s office — but only after measures to safeguard confidential information are in place. And lawyers will play a new role in making sure legally private information does not find its way into court files.That’s the overall balancing-act recommendation of the Supreme Court Committee on Privacy and Court Records outlined in its May 3 draft report. The next step is to hear from you, as the panel moves toward its last meeting June 22 at the Orange County Courthouse to finalize recommendations for the court.“While not always agreeing, the members have worked together to seek the best solutions. This is a hard job. The importance of public confidence and transparency in the judicial process is fundamental, but so is the importance of the privacy of persons affected by the process, including innocent third parties and victims,” said Chair Jon Mills, director of the Center for Government Responsibility and dean emeritus and professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.“We have sought to establish a balanced approach with safeguards and oversight as critical prior to publicizing information. We are seeking to keep junk information out of the records entirely and seeking a reliable process to protect information that is legally private and confidential. We want all comments and suggestions anyone may have.”Lawyers should be aware of their new responsibilities under proposed Rule 2.051, Public Access to Judicial Branch Records. Lawyers would be expected to keep confidential information out of court files, certify that it has been done, and pay the price if it hasn’t been.That bothers Fifth District Court of Appeal Judge Jacqueline Griffin, who voted with three others against Internet access, saying that Florida’s courts are not obliged to do so, and she warns lawyers that “the bull’s-eye is being painted on their backs.”“In my view, the best interests of customers — the users of the courts — have been discounted in favor of the demands of vocal and well-funded interest groups, mainly the media, which wants their access to be more convenient, and resellers of information, who want to inhale the volume and detail of information obtained in court records,” Judge Griffin told the News May 3, the day the committee met.“The really odd thing I have seen grow root and blossom in this process is the notion that the presence of personal or confidential information in court files is the fault of lawyers, and the burden of solving the problem ought to be put on lawyers’ backs. In tacit recognition that the users of the courts will suffer a loss of privacy, embarrassment, or perhaps even harm from the worldwide dissemination of court records, the committee has settled on what it calls ‘minimization’ to alleviate the damage. ‘Minimization’ means that lawyers should be forbidden to put ‘too much’ information in the court file and be forbidden to put it in ‘too soon.’ To discourage the offense of putting ‘unnecessary’ information in the court file and putting it in before it is ‘necessary’ for the resolution of some already filed motion, sanctions are recommended. Bar discipline and damage claims from aggrieved litigants and third parties predictably will follow.”Harm to users of Florida’s courts will not come from “extraneous information” in files, Judge Griffin predicts, but from what should be in court files for judges to make timely and accurate decisions.She also said it makes more sense that the custodian of the records — the clerks — should be the experts on what is legally confidential information, not lawyers.“Do we really want to have disputes decided and criminal responsibility determined in an environment where litigants and victims of crime know that everything they reveal will be electronically available worldwide and where lawyers know they can be personally liable if they give the court ‘too much’ information?” Judge Griffin asks. “Apparently, we are going to find out.”But the majority of the 15-member committee — a diverse group of lawyers, judges, court clerks, court administrators, and representatives of the First Amendment Foundation — voted for the courts to “affirmatively seek to provide general electronic access to court records,” at its March 28 meeting.Michael Froomkin, a technologically savvy professor of law at the University of Miami, voted for Internet access, but also for what he called the “very important carve-out of family law material” — such as financial information — and said the two issues “really need to be understood jointly.”“I think the committee faces a set of very difficult problems and is tackling them with great seriousness and industry,” Froomkin said April 26.“Of the many problems, the very hardest is probably how to deal with unrepresented parties. In their fear that leaving out something may have vast consequences they don’t fully understand, unrepresented parties sometimes take a ‘kitchen sink’ approach to providing information, especially in family cases where the stakes are so personal and so high. They don’t realize that everything they send the court becomes a public record and that some day it might be digitized and put online, inviting identify theft and other privacy violations,” Froomkin said.“The committee is very aware of this issue, but solving it in a way which neither compromises an unrepresented party’s rights nor subjects them to sanctions for violating rules they may not know about or understand is not an easy problem to solve.”Larry Turner, a former Gainesville judge now in private practice, was one who voted for Internet access with quality-control mechanisms.“There are three big issues that both conflict and complement,” Turner said April 26. “They are: How do we get the courts’ work done and ensure that we have the information necessary for that? How do we maintain transparency so that the citizens know what our courts do and why? And how do we protect important private information that is necessary for the courts to adjudicate issues? Remember that the right to privacy and the right to access to court information — transparency — are both enshrined in our state constitution. The big issues are hard enough. But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. This is a huge challenge.”Part of that challenge is the issue of abuses of public information by commercial data brokers. As revealed by the recent national headline news, ChoicePoint, the nation’s largest database company, had sold dossiers on more than 145,000 consumers, including more than 10,000 Floridians, to a ring of overseas identity thieves.The committee’s draft report acknowledges that “current laws are not adequate,” the Supreme Court cannot regulate the data industry, and urges the Florida Legislature to seize its power to do so.“The Florida Legislature. . . has significant power to protect Floridians by enactment of state laws. Of perhaps greater impact, Florida is, in this area, in a position to lead the nation by way of innovative example. The constitutional right of privacy in Florida — ‘the right to be let alone and free from government intrusion’ — is explicit and stronger than the federal right and any such right found in any other state constitution,” the committee said in its draft report.But cutting off Internet access “is not an effective means to combat ID theft, publication of embarrassing private facts, or degrading the value that some people place on ‘anonymity,’” said Jon Kaney, a Daytona Beach lawyer who represents the First Amendment Foundation.“I hope that the work product of the committee will recognize the transparency of judicial proceedings is not only essential to Florida’s tradition of openness but required by the First Amendment.. . . I think public records should be public,” Kaney told the News. “If exposure of the record to the public via ‘practically obscure’means [the traditional method of going to the courthouse and requesting the file] invades an interest of overriding importance, then the record should be exempt at the clerk’s counter, as well as on the ’Net. Otherwise, it should be out there.. . . “The Internet is a means of communication. Efforts to choke off the use of new communications means by the people are doomed to failure. The printing press had a profound impact on society, bringing about the Reformation, among other things. There was no such thing as a ‘prior restraint’ until the printing press was invented. It did not work. Neither will laws that attempt to stand in the way of the ability of people to communicate through this new means.” The draft report is available on the court’s Web site at www.flcourts.org and look for the Privacy and Court Records item. Direct your written comments to Jon Mills, Committee on Privacy and Court Records, Supreme Court of Florida, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee, 32399-1900; or by e-mail at CPCR@flcourts.org. May 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are planning this week to auction off boats, tools, electronics and other items seized during criminal investigations.Property Section officers will also put on the auction block personal watercrafts, automotive items, household items, gun scopes and cases, snow blowers, mowers, clothing, jewelry and coins.The auction is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Property Section building next to police headquarters at 30 Yaphank Ave. in Yaphank.The event will be held rain or shine. All sales are subject to New York State sales tax. Police will only accept cash payments.Motor vehicles and motorcycles will not be sold at this auction, police noted. For more information, call 631-852-6471.
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A 78-year-old man evacuated from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise liner in Japan died in a Perth hospital Sunday, becoming Australia’s first fatality from the disease, officials said.The man died in the early hours of Sunday morning, a spokeswoman for the Western Australian state health department told AFP.His 79-year-old wife was also infected with the disease during the cruise and remains in a Perth hospital.Topics :
“Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula One and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern,” a joint statement from F1 and the FIA read.All parties said they would study the viability of finding alternative dates to run the races later in the year, and the statement added that Formula 1 and the FIA expect to be able to begin the 2020 season “as soon as it’s safe to do so after May”, but will continue to monitor the situation.The earliest the new season can now start is on June 7 in Azerbaijan.The postponements are the latest to have hit a sporting calendar turned upside down by the coronavirus outbreak, which has 217,510 cases with 9,020 deaths across 157 countries and territories as of 1100 GMT Thursday.The European football championships and Copa America have been both pushed back by 12 months to 2021. But the International Olympic Committee have so far pledged to carry on with the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to run between July 24-August 9.Topics : The Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Formula One Grand Prix races were on Thursday postponed due to the global spread of coronavirus, officials announced.The triple postponements follow the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last week, and the postponement of the Chinese, Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races.The Dutch GP, due to return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, was set to be held at Zandvoort on May 1-3, with the Spanish race following a week later, and the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21-24.
Pennsylvanians Urged to Monitor Weather, Prepare for Heavy Rain and Possible Flooding SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release, PSA, Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – With the threat of heavy rain expected to impact much of the commonwealth overnight tonight, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are reminding citizens to monitor weather conditions and prepare for possible flooding.“The best way to approach impending adverse weather is by being prepared and accessing accurate information from experts,” Governor Wolf said. “PEMA, county emergency personnel and law enforcement are the state’s experts and their warnings should be heeded.”PEMA advises people to have multiple ways to get severe weather alerts, such as a NOAA weather radio or cell phone alerts. Local media outlets are also a good source of local weather information and conditions.“Parts of the state could see as much as three inches of rain by the time this system ends,” said PEMA Director Richard D. Flinn, Jr. “We’re not expecting significant river flooding, but people need to be mindful of the possibility of small creek and stream flooding, and in urban or poor drainage areas where flooding is common.”PEMA notes that it’s important for people to understand the difference between a watch and a warning because they represent different levels of action to be taken.A flood or flash flood watch means that conditions are favorable for flooding to occur. Residents should stay alert and watch for rapidly rising waters, including rivers and streams, and be prepared to move to high ground quickly.A flood or flash flood warning means that there is actual flooding, or flooding is imminent. Residents should act at once and move to high ground.Always follow the guidance of local emergency personnel or law enforcement if you are told to evacuate. Be familiar with multiple ways to evacuate places where you spend a lot of time, such as your home and work location.Motorists should be prepared for travel delays or road closures due to heavy rain and possible flooding. Motorists who drive around or through signs or traffic control devices closing a road or highway due to hazardous conditions could face increased fines, particularly if the violation requires emergency responders to be called. While water on a flooded road might not look deep, the road could actually be washed away under the water, or the road could be compromised in a way that could make it unsafe to travel. April 15, 2018
Listings are up in most capital cities.NEW figures reveal a surge in property listings throughout Australia, with only one capital city experiencing a drop.The latest SQM Research listing report revealed that in February listings were up in every capital city except Hobart, where they dropped by 2.7 per cent.In Brisbane listings rose by 2.4 per cent for the month to reach 29,565 in February. Over the past year listings were up only 0.7 per cent.Brisbane’s increase was fairly small compared to Sydney, which rose 19.3 per cent in February and Melbourne which went up by 19.1 per cent during the same period.More from newsNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Parks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoSQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said the rise in listings during February was to be expected after the January holidays finished.He said the rise in listings would help take the pressure off asking prices as buyers had more to choose from and were in a better negotiating position.He said in Hobart there was a shortfall of properties which would keep prices buoyant.At the same time as listings increased asking prices softened in many capital cities.In Brisbane asking prices for houses were up 0.1 per cent during February but for units were down 0.3 per cent.Sydney asking prices for houses were down 1.5 per cent and for units 0.6 per cent. While Melbourne asking prices for houses dropped 0.6 per cent and for units were up just 0.5 per cent.
Family First have released a report analysing the 2007 anti-smacking law which states that there is not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that has shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law and that they’ve continued to get worse.Family First’s national director Bob McCoskrie joined Paul Henry to discuss the report.Mr McCoskrie says that while the law change may have been well-intentioned it did not address the real issue of abusive parents.The repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act in 2007 removed the defence of “reasonable force” for adults who smacked their children.Watch the video to see the full interview with Mr McCoskrie.Read more: http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/children-still-being-abused—bob-mccoskrie-2016021111#ixzz3zoMhenpm
Bulldogs top the Connersville Spartans 12-0 in 6 innings.Bryan Hoeing throws a no hitter with 76 total pitches.The team as a whole had 10 hits and no errors in the field.Batesville vs. Connersville Baseball (4-10)Next game: vs. Rushville – Monday 4/14Season Record: 1-0Submitted by Batesville Coach Alex Davis.
Indianapolis, In. — Over the next two weeks, Indiana high school students will pitch their innovative ideas during the second round of the 2019 Innovate WithIN™ pitch competition, a statewide initiative hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Department of Education and Ball State University. New to this year’s program, middle school students will also participate in innovation-focused workshops at the regional competitions, fostering the students’ entrepreneurial and critical-thinking skills while introducing them to real-world business concepts.After submitting video pitches for the first round of the competition, more than 65 teams were selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, which include local and regional economic development partners, entrepreneurs, academics and company executives. Overall, Innovate WithIN™ drew 158 online pitch submissions this year – a 83 percent increase in applications from 2018 – from 422 Hoosier students representing 88 high schools across the state. Additionally, more than 235 middle school students registered for the program’s new ideation sessions.The finalists from each region will be invited to Indianapolis for the final round of the competition on April 4.Regional Competition Schedule: Monday, March 4: Region One (Southwest Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.Pitch Competition – 2:15 to 4 p.m.Westgate Academy, 13598 E. WestGate Dr., OdonTuesday, March 5: Region Two (Southeast Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m.Mid-America Science Park, 821 S. Lake Road S., ScottsburgThursday, March 7: Region Six (Northwest Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noon (CST)Pitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m. (CST)Purdue University Northwest, 2200 169th St., HammondFriday, March 8: Region Seven (North Central Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m.Christo’s Banquet Center, 830 Lincoln Highway E., PlymouthMonday, March 11: Region Nine (Central Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.Ivy Tech Indianapolis, 2820 N. Meridian St., IndianapolisTuesday, March 12: Region Eight (Northeast Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m.The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd., Fort WayneWednesday, March 13: Region Five (West Central Indiana – Lafayette)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m.Ivy Tech Lafayette, 3101 S. Creasy Lane, LafayetteThursday, March 14: Region Three (West Central Indiana – Terre Haute)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.Ivy Tech Terre Haute, 8000 S. Education Dr., Terre HauteFriday, March 15: Region Four (East Central Indiana)Middle School Ideation Session – 10 a.m. to noonPitch Competition – 1:30 to 4 p.m.Ball State University Alumni Center, 2800 Bethel Ave., Muncie