The Ohio Supreme Court hopes to launch an online site by December that within two years could contain legal records from all 385 Ohio courts – from the high court down through municipal tribunals, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Ohio cannot afford not to do this,” said Chris Davey, spokesman for Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. “Under the current system, a person could commit domestic violence in Cuyahoga County and move to Medina County, and the courts would not have 100 percent ability to know about that previous offense.”
The Ohio Courts Network gota big boost last week when Gov. Ted Strickland included the idea in his state budget lineup. He proposed allocating $10.5 million over the next two years to get the program up and running. The public would have access, but not to private information such as Social Security numbers. Exactly which court records the public could tap into has not been determined and promises to be a thorny issue to be settled later. “There are some downsides, one being standards for privacy issues,” said Mark Schweikert, a retired Hamilton County judge and now executive director of the Ohio Judicial Conference, which backs the network.