‘Charging A Cover’ To Access Courts? $10 Charge For Records Prompts Lots of Pushback

It’s no surprise that a proposal to charge $10 per file for routine court document access is getting lots of pushback, and our favorite comment comes from a quote in the Courthouse News Service from a Sacramento judge named Steve White, who compares it to a cover charge:  “It would put almost anyone who covers court news out of business,” said White. “Whether that’s the intention or not, that would be the result. Through that lens you can appreciate that it’s not much different than asking a cover charge to watch the trials we preside over.”
Judge White was reacting to costs for covering the courts. The CNS gives this example: “… a newspaper reporter reviewing the day’s newly filed cases for news would be hit with a ten-dollar fee for every case reviewed, a sum that would add up to roughly $400 a day in San Jose’s superior court and $700 a day in San Francisco.” The story also notes that nobody really bothered to project income from the fee and other issues.

Read it here.