Late last month, Madison County, Illinois, put its public court records online
, the News-Democrat reports.
By selecting a tab called "Court Record Search," online users can now find information on court cases, which is updated daily. This allows visitors to search for a court case by name or case number and find out what type of case it was, as well as the charges, fines owed, upcoming court dates and dispositions. "Not everyone knows that court cases are public information," circuit court clerk Matt Melucci told the news source. "It's the duty of circuit clerks in Illinois to make public records open and accessible." However, personal information about the accused - such as date of birth and home address - is not available to the public in order to prevent identity theft
. Chief deputy circuit clerk Judy Nelson explained that putting the information online saves people from having to come to the court or wait for case information on the phone during a busy workday. The Post-Dispatch notes that court schedules had been available via the internet for years, and the new feature was added to provide more in-depth details.