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RULE 16-909. CONVERSION OF PAPER RECORDS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 16. Court Administration
Chapter 900. Access to Judicial Records
MD Rules, Rule 16-909
RULE 16-909. CONVERSION OF PAPER RECORDS
(a) Construction of Rule. This Rule is subject to and shall be construed harmoniously with the other Rules in this Chapter, the Rules in Title 20, other applicable law, and administrative orders of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
Cross reference: Remote access to case records by the general public is governed predominantly by the CaseSearch program. See Rules 20-102 (a)(2) and 20-106 regarding the conversion of paper records under MDEC.
(b) In General. Subject to the Rules in this Title and Title 20, to other applicable law, and to administrative orders of the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, a custodian, court, or other judicial agency, for the purpose of providing public access to judicial records in electronic form, is authorized but not required:
(1) to convert paper judicial records into electronic judicial records;
(2) to create new electronic records, databases, programs, or computer systems;
(3) to create the ability to inspect or copy judicial records through remote access; or
(4) to convert, supplement, modify, or replace an existing electronic storage or retrieval system.
(c) Limiting Access to Judicial Records. A custodian may limit access to judicial records in electronic form to the manner, form, and program that the electronic system used by the custodian, without modification, is capable of providing.
(d) Facilitating Access to Judicial Records. If a custodian, court, or other judicial agency converts paper judicial records into electronic judicial records or otherwise creates new electronic records, databases, or computer systems, it shall, to the extent practicable, design those records, databases, or systems to facilitate access to judicial records that are open to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter.
(e) Current Programs Providing Electronic Access to Databases. Any electronic access to a database of judicial records that is provided by a court or other judicial agency and is in effect on July 1, 2016 may continue in effect, subject to review by the Judicial Council for consistency with the Rules in this Chapter. After review, the Council may recommend to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals any changes that it concludes are necessary to make the electronic access consistent with the Rules in this Chapter.
(f) New Requests for Electronic Access to or Information from Databases.
(1) A person who desires to obtain electronic access to or information from a database of judicial records to which electronic access is not then immediately and automatically available shall submit to the State Court Administrator a written request that describes the judicial records to which access is desired and the proposed method of achieving that access.
(2) The State Court Administrator shall review the request and without undue delay shall take one of the following actions:
(A) Approve a request that seeks access to judicial records subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20 that will not directly or indirectly impose significant fiscal or operational burdens on any court or judicial agency.
(B) Conditionally approve a request that seeks access to judicial records subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20 but will directly or indirectly impose significant and reasonably calculable fiscal or operational burdens on a court or judicial agency on condition of the requestor's prepayment in full of all additional expenses reasonably incurred as a result of the approval.
(C) Deny the request and state the reason for the denial if:
(i) the request would impose significant and reasonably calculable operational burdens on a court or judicial agency that cannot be overcome merely by prepayment of additional expenses under subsection (f)(2)(B) of this Rule or any other practicable condition;
(ii) the requester fails or refuses to satisfy a condition imposed under subsection (f)(2)(B) of this Rule;
(iii) the request seeks access to judicial records not subject to inspection under the Rules in this Chapter or Title 20; or
(iv) the request directly or indirectly imposes a significant but not reasonably calculable fiscal or operational burden on any court or judicial agency.
(3) Upon receipt of a denial, the requester may ask for referral of the request or any proposed but rejected amendment to the request to the Judicial Council for its review and recommendation to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
(4) Upon referral to the Judicial Council, the Council, in accordance with its internal procedures or as otherwise directed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, shall consider each of the stated grounds for denial of the request by the State Court Administrator and any previously proposed but rejected amendment thereof, and also consider, to the extent relevant thereto:
(A) whether the data processing system, operational system, electronic filing system, or manual or electronic storage and retrieval system used by or planned for the court or judicial agency that maintains the records can currently provide the access requested in the manner requested and in conformance with Rules 16-901 through 16-908, and, if not, any changes or effort required to enable those systems to provide that access;
(B) whether any changes to the data processing, operational electronic filing, or storage or retrieval systems used by or planned for other courts or judicial agencies in the State would be required in order to avoid undue disparity in the ability of those courts or agencies to provide equivalent access to judicial records maintained by them;
(C) any other fiscal, personnel, or operational impact of the proposed program on the court or judicial agency or on the State judicial system as a whole;
(D) whether there is a substantial possibility that information retrieved through the program may be used for any fraudulent or other unlawful purpose or may result in the dissemination of inaccurate or misleading information concerning judicial records or individuals who are the subject of judicial records and, if so, whether there are any safeguards to prevent misuse of disseminated information and the dissemination of inaccurate or misleading information; and
(E) any other consideration that the Judicial Council finds relevant.
(5) Upon consideration of the factors set forth in subsection (f)(4) of this Rule and without undue delay, the Judicial Council shall inform the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of its recommendations. The Chief Judge shall determine and inform the State Court Administrator and the requester whether the request is:
(A) approved, because it complies with the requirements of subsection (f)(2)(A) of this Rule;
(B) conditionally approved, because it complies with the requirements of subsection (f)(2)(B) of this Rule and the requester has agreed to comply with the conditions established by the Chief Judge; or
(C) denied under subsection (f)(2)(C) of this Rule.
Source: This Rule is derived from former Rule 16-1008 (2016).

Credits

[Adopted June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016. Amended June 20, 2017, eff. Aug. 1, 2017.]

Editors' Notes

HISTORICAL NOTES
2017 Orders
The June 20, 2017 order, renumbered Rule 16-908 to Rule 16-909; changed the term “court record” to the term “judicial record” throughout the Rule; added a cross reference after section (a); changed the approval process for changes to electronic access to databases; deleted references to the Office of Communications and Public Affairs; designated the State Court Administrator as the recipient of requests for electronic access to or information from databases; changed the procedure for review of a request for access that was denied; and deleted subsection (f)(6).
MD Rules, Rule 16-909, MD R CTS J AND ATTYS Rule 16-909
Current with amendments received through August 1, 2019.
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