Saline County has become the ninth county in Arkansas to put access to public court records on[more] the Internet, Saline County Circuit Clerk Dennis Milligan announced today.
“The days of people driving to the court house to look up or copy court records are vanishing,” he said. “With the high price of gasoline, accessing records on the Internet just makes good sense.”
Saline County has joined Clark, Crawford, Faulkner, Garland, Hot Spring, Pulaski, Searcy and Van Buren counties in having court records available on the Internet. The records are available through a system the Arkansas Supreme Court is requiring counties to participate in to make public access and data standards uniform in all 75 counties.
Partial information is available from the following counties: Arkansas, Ashley, Baxter, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Greene, Hempstead, Howard, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Lonoke, Madison, Marion, Ouachita, Polk, Randolph, Sevier and Union Counties. The Administrative Office of the Courts is working to have 80 percent of Arkansas counties online within five years.
“Saline County criminal, civil and domestic relations court records are available on the Internet because the county is part of CourtConnect,” Milligan said. “People can go to caseinfo.aoc.arkansas.gov and see those public records. People can now see public court records on their computer or cell phone with Internet access. This makes getting copies of public records easier.”
Probate records are not online, but should be available soon.
Under the CourtConnect system, each county has a number. Saline County was assigned the number 63. People using the system can look for court information using case numbers or the name of a party in a case, Milligan said.
Saline County began the conversion to CourtConnect in November. CourtConnect is part of the ACS Contexte Case Management System. Contexte is an internal system that provides access to court documents to judges, prosecutors and others involved in the justice system.
Contexte has all information available, but CourtConnect keeps information that could be used for identity theft restricted from public view. From the CourtConnect website, users can search records of any county on the system. CourtConnect also links to images of some court documents so users can view, print or download the actual documents filed on the case.
“The good news is that these court documents are free of change,” Milligan noted. “If you come into the circuit clerk’s office and print records from the five public computers available there, we have to charge 25-cents per page to cover office expenses. With CourtConnect, those records can be downloaded as a file on your computer or printed on your own printer.
“CourtConnect is a first step towards a paperless court system,” he said.
“Pulaski County is currently testing an e-filing system that will allow attorneys and those wanting to represent themselves to file court documents using the Internet rather than having to deliver them in person or by mail,” Milligan added. “Once the e-filing system is perfected, Saline County will be one of the first to use it.”