JIS Data Dissemination Committee
May 5, 2000
Friday May 5, 2000
JIS Data Dissemination Subcommittee Members:
Judge C. Kenneth Grosse, Chair
Judge James R. Heller
Judge Thomas Wynne
Judge Clifford Stilz
Judge Dale Ramerman
Terese Ferreria, AG's Office/DSHS/DCFS
Glenn Jacobs, Commercial Information Systems
Diana Kramer, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
Mae Waldron, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
Tom Boyer, Seattle Times
The minutes of the March 31, 2000 meeting were approved as written.
- Executive Order 00-03 and AGO 1998 No. 2
The subcommittee discussed Executive Order 00-03 and AGO 1998 No. 2. One of the questions posed was whether Executive Order 00-03 changed the judicial view of public access to judicial records. The consensus was no, the executive approach was a different approach than the judicial one. The subcommittee further wanted to continue with its current policy of open court records except as restricted by statutory mandate or public policy.
- Vermont Model for Public Access to Court Records and Proposed GR15 Revisions
Judge Ramerman reported that he has made some additional changes to the draft revision of GR15 after receiving comments from a number of people. The subcommittee discussed various details and agreed to e-mail specific comments to Judge Ramerman.
The subcommittee agreed that the approach of the Vermont model is similar to the subcommittee's. Members discussed specific sections and agreed that some of the specific sections may not apply in Washington. The subcommittee decided to move forward with drafting a rule(s) that is conceptually similar to the Vermont model.
The subcommittee discussed the timeframe to proceed with any proposed rule changes. Concern was expressed that revision of the general public access rule would be a lengthy process and that there was a need to present Judge Ramerman's revisions to GR 15 as soon as feasible. The consensus was to present Judge Ramerman's amendment to GR 15 to the JIS Committee at the May 26, 2000 Retreat and to send a message to the Supreme Court that another proposed rule would be presented later that provided a comprehensive rule governing public access to court records.
- Present proposed amendments to GR 15 to the JIS Committee at the May 26, 2000 meeting - Judge Ramerman and OAC staff
- Submit proposed amendments to GR15 to Supreme Court Rules Committee for the June 7, 2000 meeting if approved by the JIS Committee - JIS Committee and OAC staff
- Notify Supreme Court that there will be two proposed rules-current proposed amendments to GR 15 and a comprehensive public access to court records rule to follow - Judge Grosse
- Coordinate with Pattern Forms Committee - Judge Wynne
- Special requests for access
- Court of Appeals access to restricted case types
The subcommittee members agreed that this was an operational matter. The Court of Appeals, as an appellate court, should have access to JIS restricted case types. The individuals granted access are the Court of Appeals judges and their designated staff. The Court of Appeals Judges are responsible for the supervision of their designated staff.
- Discuss with Chief Justice Guy - Judge Grosse
- Attorney General/DSHS /SHS Request-guest Therese Ferreria.
Therese Ferreria presented information and specific case examples which demonstrated their need to have access to the ADH, PER and DCH screens. The subcommittee members agreed that locating an address for the purpose of serving the person notice is a legitimate public purpose and would result in greater efficiencies for the court.
- Ø Amend contract with the Attorney General's Office to authorize the delegation of Attorney General security access to their agents. The Attorney General's Office to be held accountable for any misuse of information and is responsible for the supervision of their agents. - OAC staff
- Additional data elements in public access database (Seattle Times and CIS requests)
The subcommittee examined the data elements available in the current Superior Court Index, planned combined Superior Court and Courts of Limited Jurisdiction Index, Seattle Times request, and CIS request. The subcommittee, from a policy perspective, approved for recommendation to the JIS Committee the inclusion of the following additional data elements: court abbreviation/reference, judge's initials or identifier, criminal defendant date of birth, criminal defendant sex, criminal defendant race, criminal violation date, finding/judgement information, bail, plea/response, case status and open/closed dates. The subcommittee could not reach an agreement on criminal defendant's address data elements. The subcommittee discussed the possibility of using a driver's license number instead of an address as an identifier.
- Research driver's license number confidentiality issues. - OAC staff
- Add to the May 26, 2000 JIS Committee agenda and prepare issue paper. -OAC staff
- Next Meeting
The next meeting will be at 9:00 A.M. on June 30, 2000, Room 1606, Two Union Square, Seattle, Washington.