This year, I’ve been systematically looking at open access disparities for federal court records btwn federal district courts. Some districts very open, some very not so. Once I notice a gap, I reach out respectfully to Judges/staff & request changes. This is the story of one.
In February, I sent an email to a chief judge about some concerns I had about public access to court records in their district. Shortly after, the Judge responded.
I was estatic. As one does who sole hobby is public access to court records. Then COVID happened, copiers scrambled to adjust.
I thought the effort was dead in the water. I doubted (understandably) this would be a priority anymore. I was wrong. There was a chief clerk and her staff that kept at it.
They reviewed every court filing in their district and made sure thousands of pages of unsealed public records that were previously not available to the public are now. I imagine it was yeoman’s work.
So, to the government employees in that district who, when alerted to a concern & still balancing a new COVID court, snapped into action, I thank you. You’re a testament to public service.

To other 93 districts, they set a precedent of what is possible if you focus your efforts
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