Those who are involved in cases before the Maricopa County Probate Court are going to have more difficulty in the future staying abreast of their case. This is because the Court is now restricting online access to cases that previously could be viewed over the internet.
Up until recently, it was possible to pull up judicial orders and minute entries online. This permitted those with an interest in a pending case before the Probate Court to view the happenings of the proceedings remotely. This benefitted those who do not live in Arizona or in Maricopa County, and has allowed many to become more involved in the probate process.
Although online access was previously permitted under Arizona law, it has been restricted since 2009. Since then, it appears that the Maricopa County Probate Court has been releasing documents in violation of the 2009 law, perhaps unaware of the rule.
The 2009 law, now to be enforced, prohibits the general public from accessing court records from remote locations like their home and public computers. The push behind the law came from concerns that publicizing such information created a tool for identity thieves.
The Arizona Republic brought attention to the fact that the law has not been enforced for the past two years. During its investigation of identity theft cases, it found that certain individuals could utilize this information to take advantage of the elderly.
Those who want to know information about a case before the Probate Court can still access their case documents by going down to the court in person.
If you have questions about local Probate rules, it is always best to speak with a local Probate Attorney.