FitzGerald, Clerk of Courts Andrea F. Rocco and Judge John J. Russo Support Efforts to Improve Access to Public Records

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CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, Clerk of Courts Andrea F. Rocco and Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo have joined forces to help improve access to public records, with the goal of making more documents available online. Effective Monday, March 31, 2014, many images of civil and criminal documents filed with the Court’s general division will be available on the internet.

“From day one, I’ve pledged a commitment to building a trustworthy county government built on integrity and openness, because this leads to better-informed citizens and better government,” said County Executive FitzGerald. “The public’s access to public records continues to be an important piece of our overall mission, and I’m pleased to have Andrea help lead this initiative.”

Since Andrea Rocco was appointed in January 2013, she has championed multiple cost-efficient changes such as: modifying the county’s certified mail system, collecting over $700,000 in delinquent court fines and fees, and promoting the effort to make all public court records available on the internet.

Judge Russo agrees that easier public access to Common Pleas General Division court records in this high-tech age is important. “This can only help the public and others involved in the legal system,” said Judge Russo. “By waiting until March 31, we are giving attorneys time to make sure they have procedures in place to redact (remove) private client information from the on-line records that are filed after this date.”

Any record previously available only on the intranet, required a person to travel downtown to the office to access one of the public terminals during operating hours. By expanding access to the internet for certain records, it saves the public both time and money.

In addition, the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court has agreed to open access to attorneys, so they can see the images on their cases only.