Tuesday, July 20, 2010
AOC Launches Registry on Restraining, Protective Orders
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Administrative Office of the Courts announced yesterday that it has launched a registry to start providing judges and law enforcement officers with complete and accessible information on restraining and protective orders throughout the state.
The AOC said the California Courts Protective Order Registry, which is now operating in three counties, enables users to search for and retrieve electronic images of restraining and protective orders from all participating courts so they can see precisely the conditions and written notes contained on those orders.
“In most counties, judges do not have access to statewide information about existing protective orders,” AOC Regional Administrative Director Christine Patton said. “The registry will empower judges to make more informed decisions and avoid issuing conflicting orders. It will also improve public safety and the safety of law enforcement officers by providing access to more accurate, complete and up-to-date information about protective orders.”
The Marin, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz superior courts are the first three courts to use the registry. The AOC said it anticipates that a total of 20 trial courts will be using the registry by the end of the year, and that the remaining 38 trial courts in California will be added to the program over the next few years.
The project resulted from a 2006 recommendation of the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure Task Force, which found that trial courts lacked the ability to share information about restraining and protective orders with each other and with law enforcement.
Law enforcement currently uses the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, which stores data entered from protective orders, but does not include the images of the actual orders issued by a court. Most trial courts do not have access to CLETS, so judges often do not have access to statewide information about protective orders.
By contrast, the AOC said, the CCPOR can produce images of the actual order, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and orders can be searched by an individual’s name, case number or other criteria across county lines. The registry will also be part of the California Courts Case Management System, which is in the final testing stage and is scheduled to be deployed to the first three courts next year.
The project is being funded by a $1 million grant from the California Emergency Management Agency which will cover project management expenses and scanning hardware for the first 20 courts. The AOC estimated the total costs of the project through the end of this year to be $2.1 million.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company