The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, May 14, will have a hearing on legislation that could limit public access to court records.
The bills, HB 4064 and HB 4532, would change the way Michigan court records are kept, moving toward a statewide electronic filing system. But some open government advocates have raised concerns about the potential for these measures to significantly increase the cost of accessing court records.
Courts across the state take dramatically different approaches to the fees they charge for electronic access to records. While some counties do not charge for basic electronic record searchers, others charge more than $10 just to conduct a name search. Accessing actual documents can add additional charges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in Room 110 of the Farnum Building, 125 W. Allegan St. in Lansing. The committee is chaired by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. Other members of the committee include Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton; Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights; and Steve Bieda, D-Warren. Contact information for committee members can be accessed by following the links at the committee’s website.