Apr 29, 2013

When will Erie County place court records online?

I practice law in a variety of different counties and Erie County still doesn't have it's records online. It can be very frustrating when trying to assist clients because the records aren't accessible. Weren't the records supposed to be available online by now? Doug via email.

Yes they were.

A February Register story quoted Erie County clerk of courts Luvada Wilson saying "I believe that public viewing should be ascertainable within 30 days."

Now, almost into May, and the records are still absent from the Internet world, according to a recent Register story

"I cannot," Wilson said, when asked to provide a new date of when court records would go online. "I have been (trying) to work out our difficulties and as of yet I just don't have a date. No one is more disappointed than I."

Wilson previously said her staff will soon unveil more than 1 million pages of court documents anyone can view online.

The community has waited patiently, for years, to see county court records online.

Former clerk of courts Barb Johnson, who died in October 2011 while in office, failed to deliver on this years-long promise.

Wilson, who immediately succeeded Johnson and later won a four-year election term beginning this year, vowed to make the office more efficient and bring the office into 21st century.

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Comments

Julie R.

You aren't the only one that has dealt with frustration in that office. There was a time when I had to go there at least twice a week just to see what attorneys were filing on my behalf without my knowledge. Going through the records in that office was an even bigger joke. The paperwork in the files was all mixed-up, nothing was in order ...... it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I even found something in the files that was listed as "missing." When I asked an employee where it was, her response was: "It might have been put into another file by mistake and will turn up sooner or later ..... or somebody off the street might have come in and taken it." (yeah, right)

By the way, Barb Johnson was not there during that time period. She was on a medical leave.

4-wheeler al

question? are taxes we pay in pays court employees like clerks and judges.who gets court cost money people pay with thier fines.

reporter54

It used to be that there were more accurate and responsible people in offices and they could spell and file and answer the phone courteously and type and things ran very smoothly. Then someone had the idea to institute quality control and hire people that were not capable of the above. So, it's their fault.

Julie R.

The document that I was searching for in the clerk's office that was listed as "missing" in the file --- the one that an employee said "might have been put into another file by mistake" or "maybe somebody off the street might have come in and taken it" --- that document was a Judgment Entry. It pertained to a hearing in the common pleas court that I was never notifed of pertaining to that SCAM to sell my deceased mother and stepfather's property at a sheriff sale. Per the instructions of the common pleas court magistrate, the Judgment Entry from that hearing was sent to an incorrect address yet the court and the clerk's office both had my correct address on file. As a result, I never received that Judgment Entry until 26 days after its filing. (one only has 30 days to file an appeal)

When Barb Johnson returned to work over 2 years later, I asked her about that "missing" document. She seemed confused as to why her employees would have it listed as "missing" in the file. She said it was never missing. It was sent back to the common pleas court to correct the address and they were the ones that never sent it back to the clerk's office until almost 26 days later. She also started going through that mess of a file and questioned why the money from that sheriff sale that took place over two years earlier was still in her account. That's when she discovered the dirt-bag attorneys never had a court order to begin with to transfer the money over to the clerk of court's, yet her employees had deposited it.

I dealt with those joke courts in Erie County and those joke public offices for over 10 years and I don't care what anybody says --- Barb Johnson is getting a bad rap.

DGMutley

I never had any problem with Barb Johnson. Whatever some might say her popularity shined through at the polls even in the face of nasty campaigns to get her out of office.

Ms. Wilson is doing a fantastic job with the office. I guess Ms. Johnson's greatest sin was not letting Ms. Wilson start on the re-organization.