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Friday, July 20, 2007

Snohomish County Resumes Recording Court Commissioner Proceedings

"Audio recordings of legal proceedings held in front of Snohomish County court commissioners have resumed after more than three months without recording. Superior Court judges stopped the recordings in March, but ordered resumption after an Everett advocate of equal treatment for all parties in divorce cases lobbied for them. ... 'Even though you don't have to do something, sometimes the better decision is to do it,' [Court administrator Bob] Terwilliger said. Also, he polled 10 other counties in the state and found that they all record commissioner hearings."

Tip of the hat to Mark Mahnkey for sending this to og-blog.

P.S. Assuming for the sake argument that recording isn't required for court commissioner proceedings, we note the words of Art. I, section 10 of the Washington State Constitution: "Justice in all cases shall be administered openly, and without unnecessary delay." Access to court proceedings and court records is extremely important, as demonstrated by this series of magnificent investigative work from the Seattle Times.