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One-Minute Survey Result:  Access to Court Dockets in Delaware, Maryland and DC

MDDC surveyed its members last month about access to court dockets. Below, please see member responses by state and coverage area. Is your area missing? Please share your experience and we will update this article.

In Delaware, members report:

Statewide: “Court staff now routinely edit court files first to take out unspecified "personal information" and information about victims before media review”

Wilmington area: “Federal access to court dockets is fine; Delaware edits files first and is holding back docs.” “I have full access to federal courts (except for sealed cases) through PACER, either electronic access system and full access to docket (meaning scheduling and the docket) in the state court system. The only problems there are often human error in that someone forgets to enter something or update a schedule. Where we have been getting pushback from Delaware courts is in full access to court criminal files. Staff has recently taken to editing the files before they show them to us, sometimes over-redacting and holding back documents that are clearly public information out of a new found overabundance of caution.

Dover area: “I have not come across any issues with access being limited as of yet.”

SE Sussex area: “Only civil cases are searchable, with limited information listed on the dockets. For any information on criminal cases you must go to the prothonetary's office in the county where the case was filed. Additionally, you can only search the site if you are on a PC computer with a specific version of internet explorer. So, for an office that runs predominantly on Macintosh computers, it can be difficult.” “…the courts have been fair with us.”

In Maryland, members report:

Allegheny County: Access is not limited. “We have encountered no problems in Cumberland.”
Anne Arundel County: “In Anne Arundel County, our access is not limited.”
Baltimore County: NO RESPONDENTS
Baltimore City: “Access not limited.” “Baltimore City does not have its docket online.”
Calvert County: NO RESPONDENTS
Caroline County: NO RESPONDENTS
Carroll County: NO RESPONDENTS
Cecil County: “We are able to obtain all court dockets online for Cecil county, MD”
Charles County: “At the courthouses, but never beforehand.” “I have asked, and never received a straight answer. I can view dockets at the courthouse but cannot know what’s upcoming in court that week ahead of time.”
Dorchester County: NO RESPONDENTS
Frederick County: Circuit court dockets in Frederick County (civil and criminal) are posted online in their entirety for the next day each afternoon. District Court dockets are only posted outside each courtroom shortly before the hearing time (so if there's an afternoon docket, that information is not posted in the morning). I haven't yet encountered the issue mentioned above.
Garrett County: NO RESPONDENTS
Harford County: NO RESPONDENTS
Montgomery County: NO RESPONDENTS
Prince George’s County: NO RESPONDENTS
Queen Anne’s County: Access is not limited.
St. Mary’s County: “Access is not limited in any manner.”
Somerset County: “Access is very good for me here in Somerset County. I can bypass the clerk's desk and retrieve files from the shelves in Circuit Court without issue, and I have been to the judge's chambers if the file is there and available. In District Court, I never did like the introduction of the form we have to complete to receive a file, but that is the only complaint.”
Talbot County: “As far as I know, we have access to the court dockets across the Mid-Shore. We have been more concerned in recent years about individual cases being sealed; mostly rape and sexual assault cases in Talbot County. More recently the divorce file for Sen. Richard Colburn was briefly sealed in Dorchester County.”
Washington County: “Only in person at the courthouse on a daily basis. A monthly docket is available at 50 cents per page (times 30-50 pages), but a daily docket is only posted on the courthouse premises, not faxed out or posted online. Our news office is 30 miles from the courthouse, so a daily check of case listings isn't feasible.”
Wicomico County: “Have daily dockets, haven't really asked for weekly dockets”; “The person formerly in my role said people eventually stopped giving the weekly docket to her. I'm not sure if there was a reason given.”
Worcester County: NO RESPONDENTS

District of Columbia - NO RESPONDENTS

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