As time passes, more courts are deciding to join the online records community. While there are constantly objections to making records available online, benefits it provides for courts and to the general public seem to outweigh the negatives, so far. This fall, not only will Petal, Mississippi seems to slated to join in the ranks of other courts who have decided to go online. The Petal Court has decided to go paperless, and place court records online. However, there is an additional bonus to this new system, because online court records will also be connected with online police records, where applicable.
The Petal Board of Alderman on a 4-1 vote gave the go-ahead for the new system on Tuesday, July 15th. The new system will require both hardware and software upgrades that will also allow the court system to connect online with the police department. This new system could be a great way of streamling the legal system in Petal.
The new online system will be beneficial for both Petal Court employees and the general public. The great thing about the new system is that it will allow court employees to have access to all information about a particular system. Court employees will be able to check information online regarding a defendants arrest history, any outstanding warrants, paid warrants, etc. The systems will be linked and will operate in real time. Why is the system linking important? For example, if you have a warrant (which could simply be based on a lot of unpaid traffic tickets), once a fine related to a warrant is paid, it will be reflected on the court record immediately, as well as on police department’s system. Thus, if you happen to be pulled over after you’ve paid your fine, you will not have to worry about a pending warrant. Under the current system, such assurances are not available.
In addition to being able to view court records online, the general public can also be able to go online to view any outstanding warrants in their name, or anyone else’s.
This new system, of course comes with a price tag. It will cost about $60,000 and a $20 fee will be ad to fines to help pay for this new system. What are your thoughts? Is access to Petal Court and police records online worth it? Is the new system a useful addition to the online records community?
If you are interested finding other cities with online access to court records, visit Courtreference.com for a comprehensive list of links and contact information for all US trial courts.