Virginia Supreme Court announces plans for public records, statewide case search

RICHMOND — Virginia’s Supreme Court announced plans Tuesday to formulate a plan for public access to court records by Dec. 1 and offer statewide access to online case information by July 2019.

In supporting “reasonable” access to judicial records, the Supreme Court said it would develop a proposal for public records access before the end of the year.

The court also said it is committed to working with court clerks, attorneys, lawmakers and others to allow public access to statewide court records information next year. Most court case information is already posted online, but it’s only searchable one jurisdiction at a time — making statewide searches tedious and time-consuming. 

The Supreme Court is acting in accordance with other states and the federal Freedom of Information Act, according to a news release from the court.

The announcement comes at a time when several bills addressing public access to court records are circulating through the General Assembly. Most of the legislation is not new as lawmakers have been calling for more public access and an online court case system that is searchable statewide for years. Read more…