California State Budget Purposes Service Fee on Court Document Searches

California courts had their budgets cut years ago, to the tune of 5 million dollars. In an effort to recoup the loss, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a $10 service fee for clerks to retrieve files on public records. The fee would be imposed on businesses and members of the public. Those members involved in the case would not be charged a fee.

"The use of fees and redirecting resources have been ways we've been able to keep the trial courts' operating budget stable, while other areas of the budget have seen substantial reductions as a result of the recession," said H.D. Palmer, Finance Department spokesman.

The proposal may help exepedite the timing of each search, and could help courts better comply with the massive amounts of requests from businesses requesting records.

Currently, California state law charges $15 for files that take longer than 10 minutes to search. The proposal would implement a $10 fee for any file, name or other information requested on all public records.

The proposal only applies to manual searches in California courthouses. Fees to access online court documents vary from county to county and would not be affected by the proposal.

List of Effeciencies from Department of Finance - see Section 2

CA Legislation

As of today, the proposal has not been implemented. Liberty Screening will keep you posted on any changes to CA access fees.