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Fee proposed for public court record access

•  Ethics     updated  2013/03/25 14:58


A proposal by the state's judicial branch to charge $10 to view a public file at the Santa Rosa courthouse is being criticized by those who say it would limit access to public information.

A spokesman for the Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the courts, tells the Santa Rosa Press Democrat the search fee would generate $6 million annually.

But open government advocates and some journalists say it will create an unfair financial barrier to public documents.

The new search fee is among 11 recommendations from a panel of judges, lawyers and legislators that have been sent to Sacramento for inclusion in Gov. Jerry Brown's budget.

The newspaper says the proposals are expected to raise $30 million statewide.

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