Texas clerks oppose online public access to court documents

Texas clerks oppose online public access to court documents

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas court clerks oppose a state proposal that would provide easy public access to court documents by making them available online.

The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/2kL6EtJ ) reports the statewide database, re:SearchTX, contains records from all 254 counties and is supported by the state's Supreme Court.

Court clerks say surrendering records to a privately operated database would strip them of their constitutional authority. Clerks also say their departments will lose money without the public paying a printing fee of $1 a page at a courthouse for documents.

However, their opponents say the new system is set up so clerks would benefit from online users. They also argue that taxpayers own the records, not clerks.

The service will be covered by an $18 million e-filing fee the state pays a third-party vendor, and will not cost the state additional money.

Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com

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