Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Home » post » Center for Public Integrity Report: “Millions of Federal Court Records are Being Destroyed to Save Money”

Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Center for Public Integrity Report: “Millions of Federal Court Records are Being Destroyed to Save Money”

(via INFOdocket)

From the Article:

The federal courts are destroying millions of judicial case records that have been stored in the Federal Records Centers of the National Archives for decades, all in an effort to save money.

The plan is to destroy all records on cases that did not go to trial that were filed between 1970 and 1995. For other records, the federal judiciary has reduced the current record retention time from 25 to 15 years in an effort to cut costs. All cases that went to trial or were filed before 1970 will be kept.

When a federal case is filed, it is held in the U.S. District Court of record for a period of time, but is ultimately transferred to one of the Federal Records Centers in 17 cities around the country. The National Archives charges the courts a storage fee for holding these documents; last year the fee was over $6.2 million.

The new retention plan will help save $7.7 million over the next 10 years.

However, the decision to destroy 79,000 boxes filled with civil cases, 43,000 boxes of criminal cases and over 500,000 bankruptcy records is cause for concern among legal historians and advocates for public access to information.

Direct to Full Text of CPI Article

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Archives