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Don't juveniles/minors have any protection in this state even if they are testifying in General District Court?

The Executive Secretary of the Virginia Supreme Court, Rob Baldwin, is hosting a website at which will take "Anyone" to any county/city's "court" website where you can read about folks who have been charged and are going - or have been - to court for various things: drunk driving, speeding, possession of drugs, etc.

Click on General District Court Case Information and on the next page pick a county/city then click on "begin", On the next page click on "continue" and you will be taken to the search page.

Here's how that search page of his works:

"Anyone" can go to "Active Search" and hunt up people who have to go to court OR have already been and fid out the court date, the month and day of birth (in most cases), which race they are, and if they prepaid their fine, etc. Or you can just type in AARON and begin pretty close to the beginning and keep scolling forward and read everyone's name if you have the time, but "Anyone" would have the time…

"Anyone" can use the "Inactive Search" and find out everyone who has been bad as far back as 1992! And if it was DISMISSED, their name is still there! Use AARON again and scroll forward…

"Anyone" can use the Bottom (4th) search box and pick a date and that will tell you who will be in court on ANY given day. Now "Anyone" can look in these records find out who will be in court and NOT at home!

BUT it's the "Service Search" that REALLY concerns me! While hunting through these records last week. I discovered a JUVENILE'S name in the witness list.

First….Isn't it rather dangerous for SEVERAL reasons to list WITNESSES' names? Isn't that a good way to get someone killed? "Anyone" can use the Case Number and then go back and search that number and see what case they are a witness for. What a stupid, dangerous, irresponsible thing to do!

Secondly…Don't JUVENILES have any protection under the law? It's one thing to have a juvenile testify in a General District Court case and say his name in that room to the judge, but it's another thing to splash a kid's name on the internet. When a juvenile testifies on Court TV, they keep his/her name off the air….

This is as stupid as putting divorce papers and Homestead Deeds on the internet with kids' names in them….

You better get that kid's name off the internet, Mr. Baldwin. If I were that child's parent, I think I'd be plenty ticked!

Even if the case against a person was dismissed, the name of the individual remains on the site. Why? To embarrass them? What's the point Mr. Baldwin? It's your taxpayer supported website that is hosting these online records! Or do the taxpayers of Virginia not support your office? I know you sell these records because I have it on tape from an 11/22/02 meeting that I attended where you stated that you are "the one central location where "Anyone" can buy court records." Are you selling people's Social Security numbers? Yes, because they are in the records but thankfully not showing on your website. And like you said…if someone comes in and has the money they get the records….

Where are the legislators? Where is the public outcry about this? Or doesn't the public know this site exists?

It needs to be shut down!!

(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)