Articles Tagged with public records

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Update: See “Oregon Supreme Court will tackle MERS foreclosure issues,” by Brent Hunsberger, The Oregonian, July 19, July 20 (print edition), 2012.

For the decision AND an overview of Oregon’s nonjudicial foreclosure laws:

Rebecca Niday v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC (A147430) (from Clackamas County Circuit Court)

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The Oregon Legislature passed 2011 HB 2244, re definition of a public record, and it was signed by the Governor on August 2, 2011:
Effective Date:  August 2, 2011.  Chapter: 645 (2011 Laws).
Relating to public records; creating new provisions; amending ORS 192.005 and 192.502; and declaring an emergency….”  (HTML and the PDF version of the enrolled bill.)
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Do you want to do a “background check” on an employer (individual or corporation), a future or current partner, an employee, a “friend,” or a colleague?
FIRST and FOREMOST: Keep your expectations realistic.  If you expect to find all the data you are seeking in one place, one database, one website, or one-anything, you are gravely mistaken.
We just got a copy of “Wanted! U.S. Cirminal Records: Sources & Research Methodology,” by Ron Arons.  (There are other books on researching public records, too.  They will cure you of any illusion that searching public (and private) records is for the faint-hearted.)
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This question comes to librarians usually in this form:

I am looking for Criminal Records for someone I want to hire, want to rent to, want to date, etc. Can I search for that information online – and for free?

The answer:

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Mail Tribune, Inc. v. Winters (A139107) (See also Court of Appeals Media Release dated 6/23/10)

Excerpt:

The Jackson County Sheriff appeals a judgment declaring that all concealed handgun licenses issued by the Sheriff of Jackson County are public records and ordering the sheriff to disclose a list of all concealed handgun licenses issued in the county in 2006 and 2007. On de novo review, ORS 192.490(1); ORS 19.415(3) (2007),(1) we affirm, because the requested documents are public records and the sheriff failed to establish that the public records are exempt from disclosure. ORS 192.410-192.529; see Guard Publishing Co. v. Lane County School Dist., 310 Or 32, 39, 791 P2d 854 (1990) (disclosure of public records is the rule and public bodies must prove individualized bases for exemptions)….” (Link to full case.)

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Records flap has ironic twist: Activists publish the state’s public records manual on the Internet over the Justice Department’s objections, by David Steves, The Register-Guard, appeared in print: Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009.

Excerpt: “Right-to-know advocates are defying Oregon’s attorney general by putting a restricted government document on the Web for everyone to see.

But the document at the center of this dispute isn’t a sensitive record such as a list of Oregonians’ Social Security numbers or names of concealed-handgun-permit holders.

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I’ve been grousing for a while about the online absence of the Oregon AG Public Records Manual and others have done more than grouse!

Open Up Oregon has links to PDFs for the full manual and the story behind their efforts. Hurrah!

Thank you to Professor Harbaugh (and Carl Malmud) for his (their) efforts and for bringing me up to date.

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