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For immediate release: November 17, 2005
For further information contact: Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig

Court Provides Uniform Access to Public Records

Judge Philip S. Carchman, acting administrative director of the New Jersey Judiciary, has released guidelines to court staff around the state for public access to case-related records. The procedures provide staff with a consistent approach to handling requests for records that are public according the Rules of Court.

"After an informal inquiry, we learned that the public encountered processes that varied from courthouse to courthouse and even from division to division," said Judge Carchman.

"Perhaps this lack of uniformity was simply a previously undetected vestige of the old '21-county-courts' system, but clearly it was not acceptable for a unified, statewide Judiciary," he added. "With these guidelines, we have resolved those concerns."

The staff guidelines are compiled in "New Jersey Judiciary Open Records: Policies and Procedures for Access to Case-Related Records - Staff Guidelines." The guidelines are posted on the courts' Web site at njcourtsonline.com and are available upon request at courthouses.

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