Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Will Sacramento court’s online access fees apply to obtaining court date information for criminal cases?

Starting July 1, the Sacramento Court system is going to start charging for inquiries on cases. Do you know if that will also pertain to obtaining court date information on criminal cases?”

Happyone , Sacramento

Criminal case information can be accessed online via searches using the name, case number or the defendant’s XREF number.

Beginning July 1, a fee will be charged for name searches and to download documents. The court rolled out the new system in early April, requiring those using online searches to establish an account to conduct name searches or download documents, although the fees do not take effect until July 1.

However, you can search for cases using the case or XREF numbers, if you know them, without establishing an account. Currently, for criminal cases, these searches yield the same information as name searches, including court dates. Presumably, come July 1, if you are following a case but don’t know the case or XREF numbers, you would have to pay for a name search. But through the name search, you could find the case and XREF numbers, and use those for future searches, avoiding the name search charge.

You also will be able to go to the courthouse and access case information online through one of the court’s kiosks free of charge. A fee will be charged if printed copies are requested.

In civil and probate cases, court officials say one of the benefits of the new system is a case subscription feature that allows the user to subscribe to a case and receive automated notification whenever a document is filed. Attorneys and litigants representing themselves can subscribe to their cases and receive electronic notifications when new documents are filed. They also will be able to view and print the newly filed documents free of charge for up to 72 hours after the filing, according to the court website.