Oklahoma open records law ruling draws fire

BY PAUL MONIES Modified: October 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm •  Published: October 21, 2009
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The state Supreme Court has signed a $1 million contract with a Duncan company to get electronic court records from 64 counties ready for a unified system of public access on the Web.

The contract came to light after a recent ruling by the Supreme Court that has troubled some open records advocates.

The ruling forbids the release of all of the state’s electronic case information under the state Open Records Act.

Justices unanimously approved the rule Oct. 8 after Edmond-based INAD Data Services LLC requested electronic copies of all district court and workers’ compensation court case information.

INAD’s attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Until the unified system begins, basic district court record information will remain free on a case-by-case basis from two Web sites, the state-run Oklahoma State Courts Network and privately operated On Demand Court Records, said Oklahoma Chief Justice James E. Edmondson.

KellPro Inc. of Duncan operates On Demand Court Records at www.odcr.com. It collects court filings and case information from 64 district courts and two tribal courts across the state.

The Supreme Court signed the contract with KellPro in August to get data from the courts it serves ready for conversion to a unified system.

“Eventually, we hope within the next two to three years, we will have a unified case management system where all documents in all 77 counties that are filed with the courts will be open to the public without charge on the Oklahoma State Court Network or its successor,” Edmonson said.

Edmondson said the KellPro contract will get existing data from the district courts it serves ready for a new system. KellPro programmers, analysts and developers will be paid $86 to $129 per hour.

“Without KellPro’s cooperation in that, we’d have to start from scratch scanning documents in the individual court clerk offices of 64 counties,” Edmondson said.

Tim Keller, KellPro’s founder and president of business development, said the company signed up county court clerks for its case management software over a seven-year period from 1993 to 2000. Your Right to Know Read the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling on bulk electronic...


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