WASHINGTON (08/14/2000) - Butler County, Ohio, launched an Internet site last month that enables people to search court records.
As part of an upgrade to the clerk of courts' computer system, the World Wide Web site (www.butlercountyclerk.org) provides access to criminal felony cases, civil (more than US$15,000), domestic relations, 12th District Court of Appeals, state tax liens, and judgment lien dockets.
People can search by name, keyword, case number, date or several other ways. It also includes a feature that posts printed images of judgments so residents can see the official document with signatures.
"Each of the issues handled in court is important to someone's life," said Cindy Carpenter, clerk of courts. "As far as those citizens go, they can now search the records that impact their lives."
Carpenter said the site also makes it easier for outside law enforcement agencies to access the county's records if, for example, they were conducting a background check.
Butler County is the eighth largest county in Ohio, with a population of 350,000, and is located between Cincinnati and Dayton.
The online database is almost identical to the one available on the department's intranet, as it is all public information. However, Carpenter said, the Internet database does not include social security numbers because of privacy concerns.
Carpenter's future plans for the court systems include electronic legal filings, electronic motor vehicle titling, and studying the possibility of wireless access to the court's records.