On Lines & Inner Nets, Publicly Recorded

Supreme Court, in Big Leap, Plans to Put Filings Online – NYTimes.com

“Information Wants To Be Free”

Stewart Brand circa 1984

WASHINGTON The Supreme Court will soon join other federal courts in making briefs and other filings available electronically, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. announced Wednesday. The changes will come “as soon as 2016.” 

Chief Justice Roberts explained the court’s approach to technological change saying that judges had a special obligation to move more slowly than the rest of society.

SCOTUSI suppose it takes time to realize the benefits and then decide it is best to change and catch up with the rest of society, but the federal district courts have been using online electronic filing with public accessable court records online for over a decade. PACER (Public Access to Electronic Court Records) began in 1988 (library terminal access only) and was available on the World Wide Web in 2001. 

Although PACER is outdated and charges a ridiculous fee of .10 a page, Minnesota’s courts are still trapped somewhere in the 1980s with absolutely no online access to court filings available to the public. There is no electronic access to actual court filings available (as opposed to the currently available online records, which are limited to only court dockets via MNCIS or just the “index” or “Table of Contents” of a case’s filings–you can see something was filed but not  what that something actually is!) unless you go to a public terminal at a courthouse.

I have yet to hear a worthwhile reason that supports restricting access to public records to only courthouses rather than making them readily available to all via the internet (and for free-unlike PACER). Maybe it is to encourage people to visit their local courthouses on more than a only-when-legally-mandated basis?

The rest of the SCOTUS NY Times story can be read via this link Supreme Court, in Big Leap, Plans to Put Filings Online – NYTimes.com.

FOR MORE RECENT PUBLIC RECORDS NEWS SEE:

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Fraudulently Fooled

Another Scam Posing as Court Seeking Personal ID from “Jurors”

From the United States Courts, a new personal information scam posing as seeking information related to serving as a juror in federal court:

 Juror Scam

THIRD BRANCH NEWS

  1. gov | court locator | news

 

Public Alert: New Juror Scam Seeks Personal Data

A new juror scam email, which fraudulently seeks personal information that could aid identity theft,has been reported in at least 14 federal court districts.According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, citizens received emails claimingtheyhad been selected for jury service and demanding that they return a form with such information as Social Security and driver’s license numbers, date of birth, cell phone number, and mother’s maiden name.According to the email, anyone who failed toprovide the information would be ordered to court to explain their failure, and could face fines and jail time. The email also falsely claimed that itwas affiliated witheJuror, an online registration program used in about 80 U.S. court districts.Read the full story
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Fraudulently Fooled, It's Criminal!

Warning! Arrest Warrant Scam | United States Courts

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You’ve received a warrant by fax or email saying a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government wants to arrest you. Charges may be for money laundering or bank fraud, or missed jury duty. To avoid arrest, the warrant says, send money.

Read more here . . .

Warning! Arrest Warrant Scam | United States Courts.

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Constitutionally Civil Rights, Litigation of Business | Business of Litigation, On Lines & Inner Nets, Publicly Recorded

Alabama’s Priores Sustineo of a Blogger

Blogger and Contemptner Roger Shuler“I was the only jailed journalist in the Western Hemisphere for 2013”

After spending five months locked up for contempt of court, an Alabama blogger was released from the Shelby County jail on March 26, 2014. Roger Shuler writes and publishes a blog on Alabama law and politics called “Legal Schnauzer.” He had been accused of defamation and was ordered to stop writing about a prominent Alabama attorney, Robert R. Riley, the son of a former Alabama Governor. Mr. Riley was rumored to be planning a run for Congress at the time.

  • SHUT UP, SHULER!

Mr. Shuler asserted he was never personally served with the Court’s “gag order” and had continued writing about the potential future congressman. Mr. Shuler’s posts alleged Mr. Riley was having an extra-martial affair and impregnated a local lobbyist named Liberty Duke (can’t make this up). Mr. Riley filed a Petition with the Court and requested Mr. Shuler and his wife be locked up for violating the Court’s Orders by continuing to post defamatory statements.

  • LOCKED UP

Shortly after Mr. Shuler was jailed in late October 2013, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), a non-profit legal assistance organization, sent a letter to the presiding Judge. The RCFP’s letter requested The Honorable Claude D. Neilson to reconsider his decision that censored and confined the blogger. The RCFP argued Mr. Shuler’s jailing for contempt of court was an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

  • SEALED SHUT

Prior Restraint is when the government makes you shut your mouth before you can even open it–more descriptively called “Pre-Publication Censorship.” The RCFP’s letter succinctly laid out the law for one of the most egregious types of censorship and First Amendment violation:

The Supreme Court has never upheld a prior restraint, or a government prohibition on speech. In Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, it found these bans on speech presumptively unconstitutional and called them “the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.” 427 U.S. 539, 558-59 (1976). See also Near v. State of Minnesota ex rel. Olson, 283 U.S. 697, 713 (1931) (calling prior restraint “the essence of censorship.”) The Supreme Court has speculated that prior restraints may only be allowed to prevent disclosure of information that would provide troop locations in wartime or “set in motion a nuclear holocaust.” Id. at 716.

  • MORE TO COME

    First Amendment Freedom Fighters

    First Amendment Freedom Fighters

The blogger’s wife had to take down the blog posts to spring Mr. Shuler out of jail. Mr. Shuler writes well, but I’ll tell you, his posts about the alleged illicit affair were not as torrid, dangerous or inflammatory as an actual nuclear holocaust.

Shuler plans to sue.

More Sources

And because I couldn’t resist, photos at the following respective links are of: Mr. Robert R. Riley and Ms. Liberty Duke
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Discovered on Demand, Legally Educated, Publicly Recorded

MNCIS–Minnesota Court Information System

Court Records–More Than You’d Think

Minnesota Trial Court Public Access websites, mote commonly known as “MNCIS,” (Minnesota Court Information System), are a powerful and cost-effective tool for discovering information on anyone involved in the Minnesota trial court system. MNCIS has docket information for Minnesota civil and criminal court cases, judgment records and court calendars. All of these records can be used to determine if an individual has existing, unpaid judgments, is being sued, or has been sued, if there is a criminal court case open, at least one that has resulted in a conviction or guilty plea, if there has been a divorce, child custody case, adoption, name change, probate proceeding and what time and where a court appearance is through the court calendars, and other information.

Free (taxpayer funded) on the Internet

Although MNCIS on the web (Click HERE for Access) is not reliable enough for comprehensive searches and should not be used as your only criminal background check tool (more to come, but in the meantime enjoy this try www.mncriminals.com instead, technically still “free” but slowly and surely being overrun with ads and pay options) it can tell you if a warrant is out for someone. You only need to know the person’s name, but not necessarily even the correct spelling. When performing a search by Party name, try checking the box for Soundex-a  “sounds like” search in English for use when you do not know the proper spelling of a name).

Privacy Concerns

Although you used to be able to get more information, privacy concerns have restricted some data available over the internet on MNCIS, However, when one hand taketh the other hand giveth: A lot of the records that are not available on the web version of MNCIS can be obtained by going to a courthouse and using (for free) the court’s public access computer terminals.

As a non-exclusive example, you can get some home addresses this way with a just name search if the person has been through the court system in a civil or criminal matter. On the web-based MNCIS, you cannot get pre-conviction records (“innocent until proven otherwise”). But at the courthouse you can get the  pre-conviction records for criminal, traffic and petty misdemeanor cases. Likewise, the Violence Against Women Act, a federal law, prevents MNCIS on the internet from displaying information on harassment and domestic abuse cases, but these records can be obtained at the courthouse.  

Garbage In Means Garbage Out

There are errors, people have the same names, records are not always reliably entered or available and the search engine in MNCIS makes you appreciate Google on a whole new level. The current civil court case records are pretty reliable and accurate but be careful of how much you relay on any single source of public data always confirm the information through another source. Or three if possible.

MKT

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Technically Lawful

FBI: “TECH PROBLEMS” NOT CYBERATTACK DISABLE US COURTS WEBSITES

Despite widespread reports that federal court websites were down nationwide yesterday here in the USA due to a DDOS “cyberattck” (and some outfit taking credit for it on Twitter), the FBI said last night the websites were down due to “technical problems.”

I don’t see many news outlets updating their reports this morning. I suppose “Unknown Hacker-Terrorists Launch Cyberattack on US Justice System” gets more page views than “Federal Websites Back Online After IT Issue Fixed with Server Reboot.” Oh well, they are just journalists after all.

Perhaps a bit less sexy, but a more accurate story is here:

FBI: US court websites went down due to “technical problems,” not DDOS | Ars Technica.

MKT

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Attorneys & Lawyers & Counselors, Fraudulently Fooled

Beware of email attachments purporting to carry case information, courts warn

If I skip my hearing on Tuesday and claim it was because I thought my Notice was a fake court e-mail, will that be a good enough excuse?

“But Your Honor, after Target got hacked and my bank account was drained, I just just couldn’t take any chances.”

MKT
Do I really need to type CLICK BELOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY?

Beware of email attachments purporting to carry case information, courts warn.

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