Our court’s case records are finally all electronic (well, almost) and storage is cheap and fast – so we won’t ever need to purge case records again, right? Well, you may want to reconsider if that’s what you’re thinking. A new Joint Technology Committee (JTC) Resource Bulletin, “Developing an Electronic Records Preservation and Disposition Plan,” explores a myriad of issues relating to electronic records retention. It builds on a 2012-2013 Policy Paper published by the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), “To Protect and Preserve: Standards for Maintaining and Managing 21st Century Court Records.”
The JTC Bulletin posits that electronic records policy issues are categorized into three interrelated areas of policy: retention, destruction and public access. For each of these areas, the paper explores key questions and issues, including analysis of various factors that may impact policy decisions (such as need, timing, cost and relevant standards).
“Courts have long struggled with records retention and destruction. This problem is only exacerbated by the transition to electronic records. As courts continue to migrate to a fully electronic environment, consideration of a comprehensive electronic records retention and destruction plan will be critical. Following the suggestions of this resource bulletin should provide courts with a roadmap toward developing a plan that will ensure appropriate access to court records is maintained well into the future.”
The JTC is also planning a webinar on the topic, scheduled for June 24 at 1pm EDT. Look for more detail here as the webinar date approaches.