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Requests for compiled data may be made by any member of the public for scholarly, educational, journalistic, or governmental purposes. Such requests shall be made to the Court Administrator in such form as the Court Administrator may prescribe. Each request must (i) identify what compiled data is sought, and (ii) describe the purpose for requesting the compiled data.
The Court Administrator, in consultation with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, shall have discretion to grant or deny any request or part thereof for compiled data. The Court Administrator shall consider (i) whether the request is consistent with the purpose of these rules and (ii) whether the requested data may be compiled by the court without undue burden or expense. The Court Administrator shall not grant a request for data that is prohibited from public disclosure or for data where the electronic record is not an accurate representation of the official court record. The Court Administrator’s decision shall be communicated to the requester with the reasons therefor.
Upon allowance of a request, the Court Administrator may require the payment of a reasonable fee for staff time and resources to compile and provide the requested compiled data.
The Court Administrator may condition approval of a request for compiled data on the requester agreeing in writing to certain limitations on the use of the data, such as that it not be used for a commercial purpose.
“Compiled data” is defined in Rule 1(e). Although the Trial Court seeks to provide access to electronic court records for purposes of transparency and accountability, it is also concerned about the potential for unwarranted harm to litigants, victims, witnesses and jurors that can come with unfettered access. Much of the information obtained by the court from litigants and non-parties is not provided voluntarily, but is required by the court both to provide fair and timely resolution of cases and to enhance public safety. The Trial Court’s case management databases, which result in electronic records, are created to support those functions. Further the manner of collection and the definition of certain data may not result in an accurate representation of the underlying cases. The discretion vested in the Court Administrator under this rule is intended to address these concerns.
Regular Compiled Reports. The Trial Court provides a list on its website of publicly available reports, including annual and quarterly reports. The Trial Court may provide some reports to the public at no charge and other reports may be provided upon payment of a fee or subscription.
Rule 3(a), Procedure for Making Requests. In making a request for compiled data, a requestor shall describe the scholarly, educational, journalistic, or governmental purpose of the request. It is within the discretion of the Court Administrator to deny requests that do not fit these purposes.
Rule 3(d), Conditions. The Court Administrator may condition the provision of compiled information on a requester signing an agreement limiting the use of the information. For example, the Court Administrator may require that such information not be resold or used for a commercial purpose, except journalistic purposes.