1.4 Access to Court Documents

VirtualCourthouse Issue 1.4
Access to Court Documents

First Published in the Prince George’s County, Maryland Bar Association Journal – Newsletter

Judge Arthur M. Monty Ahalt – June 1996

First there was CivicLink, then there was JusticeLINK, and now there is CourtLink. You will be hearing more and more about CourtLink in the near future. But I saw it last week at an Electronic Access conference sponsored by the Institute for Court Management-National Center for State Courts. CourtLink is a court data base access program developed by Data West. They first developed a database access system for all courts in the State of Washington.. They have added to the online system 82 of 84 federal courts. You will soon see their system on the East Coast. Hopefully in Prince George’s County.

CourtLink is a Windows-based service for court record access. Uses for Court Link according to Data West literature and their demonstration at the Electronic Access conference include the following: Background checks including, charges, convictions, and repeat offense patterns. Litigation history including, types of cases, judgments, case status, amounts of judgments, names of parties and their representatives. Document discovery including, kinds of documents filed, day-to-day listing of all documents. Case management including case event schedule, court calendars, fees and payment records.

Minimum system requirements to use CourtLink are: 486 or higher microprocessor, Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, 4MB or more of memory, 3MB of available hard disk space, a 3.5″ high density or 5.25 high density disk drive, a Hayes-compatible asynchronous modem or compatible modem pool.

CourtLink can be reached for a demo disk or subscription at 1-800-774-7317 or by E-mail at datawest@courtlink.com.

JusticeLINK continues to receive an incredible amount of local, national and international attention. On the local front representatives from the following courts have come to the Prince George’s County Courthouse to see a demonstration or have expressed strong interest:

Circuit Court for Baltimore County

Circuit Court for Baltimore City

Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County

Superior Court for the District of Columbia

Circuit Court for Fairfax County

From around the Nation the following courts have come to the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County to see a demonstration or have expressed a strong interest:

Administrative Office of the Courts for New Jersey

United States Office of Child Support

United States Justice Department

JEDDI Corporation

United States Administrative Office of the Courts

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District Court of Maryland for the Southern Division

Denton County, Texas,

Harris County (Houston), Texas

Dade County (Miami), Florida

Lexington, Kentucky

Chesapeake, Virginia

Sarasota, Florida

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1st Judicial Circuit of Illinois

Nashville, Tennessee

Sante Fe, New Mexico

Kane County, Illinois Circuit Court


Medina, Ohio Municipal Court

State Court Administrator of Montana

13th Judicial Circuit Court Tampa, Florida

Ninth Circuit Court Kalamazoo, Michigan

Williamson County, Illinois Circuit Court

North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts

18th Judicial District Court Wichita, Kansas

Florida Office of the State Court Administrator

Bakersfield, California Municipal Court

2nd Circuit United States Court of Appeals

Charlotte County, Florida Circuit Court

United States District Court Southern District of New York

Passaic County New Jersey

Circuit Court Sanford, Florida

Superior Court of Arizona

Massillon, Ohio Municipal Court

Billings, Montana City Court

Michigan State Court Administrator

Federal Judiciary U. S. Courts

Missouri State Court Administrator

Shelby County Memphis, Tennessee

From around the globe:

Australia Courts

Italian Courts

United Kingdom Courts

Trinidad Courts

Israel Courts

Ontario Canada Courts

San Juan Puerto Rico Courts

It is obvious from this type of interest generated in just one year that the time for electronic filing is NOW. Will you be a part of the development and profit or will you wait because it costs too much time and money and end up losing business to those who are willing to make the investment now?


A court room story recently told by a retired judge now lawyer Paul Dorf.

While cross-examining a scorned wife who had been berating her husband throughout the trial, the husband’s lawyer asked the wife “please would you just tell the Judge what it is you want from my client.” The wife responded ” I just want him to leave me as he found me.” The lawyer then asked “And how is that?” The wife yelled “Widowed!”

Judge Arthur M. Monty Ahalt (Ret.)

Upon his retirement in 1999 Judge Ahalt commenced a career as an ADR neutral and technology innovator.

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