Alameda County courts charging for online access

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It now costs a $1 per page to download many civil court records in Alameda County.

The Oakland Tribune reported Monday (http://bit.ly/1nBIdwQ) that the new online access fees quietly took effect April 23 on the Superior Court's website.

The per-page viewing cost drops to 50 cents after the fifth page, and there is a $40 maximum charge for any single document.

Some lawyers and public access groups are outraged that citizens are being charged for public records they used to be able to access free of charge.

The new fees come as Gov. Jerry Brown has threatened more cutbacks to California's judicial system.

Sacramento County Superior Court will begin charging similar fees this summer, and Santa Clara County plans to institute them. Los Angeles County already charges a fee that starts at $4.75 for each record search.

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Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com