JIS Data Dissemination Committee
June 22, 2010
JIS DATA DISSEMINATION COMMITTEE
Members Present: Judge Thomas Wynne, Chair, Judge James Heller, William Holmes, Judge Michael Trickey, and Judge Steven Rosen.
Members Absent: Richard Johnson, Siri Woods.
Also Present: Lynne Alfasso (AOC), Brian Rowe (Access to Justice Technology Committee), Judge Donald Horowitz (ret.) (Access to Justice Technology Committee), Susan Arney (Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program Director), Sandy Slider (Assistant Administrator, Clark County District Court).
Judge Wynne called the meeting to order and the following items of business were discussed.
Minutes of April 19, 2010
The draft Minutes from the meeting of April 19, 2010, were approved as set forth with the following addition: “The DSHS representatives who were present stated that they understood the reason for the committee’s action and they had other alternatives they were going to consider to find a way to more efficiently access the case information they needed. They thanked the committee for giving them the opportunity to be heard on this matter."
Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program
Judge Wynne asked Ms. Arney to explain the request for fee-waived JIS-Link access filed by the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program (CCVLP).
Ms. Armey explained that the CCVLP is requesting a fee waiver for JIS-Link access to support the CCVLP’s Homeless Court program. The Clark County District Court has established a “Homeless Court”, which is a court calendar specifically for persons who are homeless who have been referred by social service agencies because the individuals have expressed an interest in requesting that the court allow them to do community service work to pay off court fines in criminal and infraction cases. The Homeless Court program is a collaborative effort between the prosecutors, the court, the social service agencies and the CCVLP, whose volunteer attorneys represent the defendants.
The District Court has requested that the defendant bring to court the information on how much he or she owes the court in fines (only fines, not court costs, may be satisfied with community service.) The average defendant has 10 cases. There are 25-30 defendants set on the Homeless Court calendar each month. The CCVLP would use JIS-Link to compile a list of the defendant’s cases and the fines owed on each case. The CCVLP, a nonprofit organization, does not have the money in its budget to pay for JIS-Link access. To access the JIS accounting screens, the CCVLP would need security level 20 access, which is the same level as public defenders.
The District Court staff formerly provided the information on the amount of fines owed on each case to the CCVLP, but the Court currently does not have the staff resources to continue providing this information. Ms. Slider stated that it was the District Court’s position that the defendant or the defendant’s attorney should provide the information to the court. The Homeless Court program has been suspended pending the determination by the Data Dissemination Committee whether or not to provide the requested JIS-Link access to CCVLP.
Judge Horowitz and Brian Rowe, who are members of the Access to Justice (ATJ) Technology Committee, both stated that they supported the request and felt that the ATJ Technology Principles adopted by the Supreme Court supported this request. Judge Horowitz noted that several years ago, Pierce County agreed to give reduced fee access to its LINX system to legal aid organizations. Legal aid organizations are charged an initial sign-up fee but not other access charges.
The committee discussed whether the provisions of RCW 2.68 allowed the committee to grant fee-waived access.
After discussion, it was moved and seconded that the request of the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program (CCVLP) for access to JIS-Link to support the operation of its Clark County District Court Homeless Court program be granted under the following terms and conditions:
The motion passed and staff was directed to prepare the necessary paperwork to implement the motion.
Search Engines and Appellate Briefs
For informational purposes, Ms. Alfasso told the committee that AOC has received several complaints regarding appellate briefs that have been posted online by the appellate courts. The complaints have come from persons whose names are listed in appellate briefs as parties, victims or witnesses, and who have found the briefs listed in the search results when their names are put into a search engine. They have asked AOC not to post the briefs online. The committee members stated that this may be a lawyer education issue; lawyers may need to be more careful about using actual names as opposed to other designations when they refer to persons in a brief.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
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