Sacramento County Court To Begin Charging For Access To Public Documents

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento County Superior Court will soon start charging to access to public documents, but officials say it’s just a temporary measure.

Starting on July 1, the court will charge a fee of $1 every time someone looks up a Sacramento County court case online.

The court’s IT department has developed a new online program where eventually all public court documents in a case will be able to be viewed online.

But they will begin charging that fee, or offering a one-year subscription for $2,500. Documents can still be accessed in person for free.

CBS13 spoke to Judge Maryanne Gilliard, who says the court won’t be making a profit off of charging people, and the money will go to the cost of providing the service.

She says they are committed to going back to a free online service when their finances are back in order.

“Every judge on this court believes in free public access, but because of the recession and because our court administrators in San Francisco wasted over half a billion dollars on a computer system that does not work, we have been forced to take this action, which is a minimal recoup of what we spend annually for these services,” she said.

We spoke to a man with Monument Security, who says the added cost of looking up records will have to either be absorbed by the company, or passed along to the customer.

Sacramento County is one of the last in the state to start the practice.

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