Maine bill would require courts put all public records online

Most states have some provision for putting at least some court documents online, however a bill before the Maine House may be the most expansive form proposed in the nation.

HB 110 amends the state’s information practices law to provide “A public entity shall make all public records in the public entity’s possession available for viewing on a publicly accessible site on the Internet”.

Public entity is already defined in law as including the judiciary (“the Judicial Department”).

Public records under existing law include “any written, printed or graphic matter or any mechanical or electronic data compilation from which information can be obtained, directly or after translation into a form susceptible of visual or aural comprehension, that is in the possession or custody of an agency or public official of this State or any of its political subdivisions, or is in the possession or custody of an association, the membership of which is composed exclusively of one or more of any of these entities, and has been received or prepared for use in connection with the transaction of public or governmental business or contains information relating to the transaction of public or governmental business…” subject to specified exceptions.

The bill is currently before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.