Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 17.1. Courts of Record
5/31/2020

Article 8. Secure Remote Access.

§ 17.1-292. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Applicability; definitions.

A. The provisions of § 17.1-293 shall apply to clerks of the courts of record as defined in § 1-212 and courts not of record as defined in § 16.1-69.5.

B. As used in this article:

"Confidential court records" means court records maintained by a clerk of a court of record, as defined in § 1-212, or a court not of record, as defined in § 16.1-69.5, and recognized as confidential under any applicable law or sealed pursuant to court order.

"Court records" means any record maintained by the clerk in a civil, traffic, or criminal proceeding in the court, and any appeal from a district court.

"Internet" means the international computer network of interoperable packet-switched data networks.

"Land records" means any writing authorized by law to be recorded on paper or in electronic format that the clerk records affecting title to real property, including but not limited to instruments, orders, or any other writings recorded under this title, Article 5 (§ 8.01-446 et seq.) of Chapter 17 of Title 8.01, Title 8.9A and Chapter 6 (§ 55-106 et seq.) of Title 55.

"Nonconfidential court records" means all court records except those court records that are confidential court records.

2007, cc. 548, 626; 2013, c. 77; 2018, cc. 127, 584.

§ 17.1-292. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability; definitions.

A. The provisions of § 17.1-293 shall apply to clerks of the courts of record as defined in § 1-212 and courts not of record as defined in § 16.1-69.5.

B. As used in this article:

"Confidential court records" means court records maintained by a clerk of a court of record, as defined in § 1-212, or a court not of record, as defined in § 16.1-69.5, and recognized as confidential under any applicable law or sealed pursuant to court order.

"Court records" means any record maintained by the clerk in a civil, traffic, or criminal proceeding in the court, and any appeal from a district court.

"Internet" means the international computer network of interoperable packet-switched data networks.

"Land records" means any writing authorized by law to be recorded on paper or in electronic format that the clerk records affecting title to real property, including but not limited to instruments, orders, or any other writings recorded under this title, Article 5 (§ 8.01-446 et seq.) of Chapter 17 of Title 8.01, Title 8.9A and Chapter 6 (§ 55.1-600 et seq.) of Title 55.1.

"Nonconfidential court records" means all court records except those court records that are confidential court records.

2007, cc. 548, 626; 2013, c. 77; 2018, cc. 127, 584.

§ 17.1-293. Posting and availability of certain information on the Internet; prohibitions.

A. Notwithstanding Chapter 37 (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) of Title 2.2 or subsection B, it shall be unlawful for any court clerk to disclose the social security number or other identification numbers appearing on driver's licenses or information on credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, or other electronic billing and payment systems that was supplied to a court clerk for the purpose of paying fees, fines, taxes, or other charges collected by such court clerk. The prohibition shall not apply where disclosure of such information is required (i) to conduct or complete the transaction for which such information was submitted or (ii) by other law or court order.

B. Beginning January 1, 2004, no court clerk shall post on the Internet any document that contains the following information: (i) an actual signature, (ii) a social security number, (iii) a date of birth identified with a particular person, (iv) the maiden name of a person's parent so as to be identified with a particular person, (v) any financial account number or numbers, or (vi) the name and age of any minor child.

C. Each such clerk shall post notice that includes a list of the documents routinely posted on its website. However, the clerk shall not post information on his website that includes private activity for private financial gain.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit access to any original document as provided by law.

E. This section shall not apply to the following:

1. Providing access to any document among the land records via secure remote access pursuant to § 17.1-294;

2. Postings related to legitimate law-enforcement purposes;

3. Postings of historical, genealogical, interpretive, or educational documents and information about historic persons and events;

4. Postings of instruments and records filed or recorded that are more than 100 years old;

5. Providing secure remote access to any person, his counsel, or staff which counsel directly supervises to documents filed in matters to which such person is a party;

6. Providing official certificates and certified records in digital form of any document maintained by the clerk pursuant to § 17.1-258.3:2; and

7. Providing secure remote access to nonconfidential court records, subject to any fees charged by the clerk, to members in good standing with the Virginia State Bar and their authorized agents, pro hac vice attorneys authorized by the court for purposes of the practice of law, and such governmental agencies as authorized by the clerk.

F. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Supreme Court or any other court clerk from providing online access to a case management system that may include abstracts of case filings and proceedings in the courts of the Commonwealth, including online access to subscribers of nonconfidential criminal case information to confirm the complete date of birth of a defendant.

G. The court clerk shall be immune from suit arising from any acts or omissions relating to providing remote access on the Internet pursuant to this section unless the clerk was grossly negligent or engaged in willful misconduct.

This subsection shall not be construed to limit, withdraw, or overturn any defense or immunity already existing in statutory or common law, or to affect any cause of action accruing prior to July 1, 2005.

H. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any data accessed by secure remote access to be sold or posted on any other website or in any way redistributed to any third party, and the clerk, in his discretion, may deny secure remote access to ensure compliance with these provisions. However, the data accessed by secure remote access may be included in products or services provided to a third party of the subscriber provided that (i) such data is not made available to the general public and (ii) the subscriber maintains administrative, technical, and security safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and limited availability of the data.

2007, cc. 548, 626; 2010, c. 430; 2011, cc. 557, 625, 689, 715; 2012, c. 234; 2013, c. 77; 2014, c. 460; 2017, cc. 78, 92.

§ 17.1-293.1. Online case information system.

The Executive Secretary shall make available a publicly viewable online case information system of certain nonconfidential information entered into the case management system for criminal cases in the circuit courts participating in the Executive Secretary's case management system and in the general district courts. Such system shall be searchable by defendant name across all participating courts, and search results shall be viewable free of charge.

2018, cc. 127, 584.

§ 17.1-294. Secure remote access to land records.

A. No circuit court clerk shall provide secure remote access to any land record that does not comply with the provisions of this section and the secure remote access standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in consultation with the circuit court clerks, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, the Compensation Board, and users of land and other court records.

B. 1. Beginning July 1, 2012, any land record made available to subscribers via secure remote access may contain only the last four digits of the social security number of any party. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the clerk to reinsert the last four digits of a social security number on any land record where the redaction of the entire social security number has been completed prior to July 1, 2012.

2. However, the original land record maintained by the clerk may contain a social security number if otherwise provided by law, but that original record shall not be made available via secure remote access unless it complies with this section.

3. Except in cases where the original record is required by law to contain a social security number, the attorney or party who prepares or submits the land record for recordation has the responsibility for ensuring that the social security number has been removed from the writing prior to the instrument's being submitted for recordation.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit access to any original document as provided by law.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any data accessed by secure remote access to be sold or posted on any other website or in any way redistributed to any third party, and the clerk, in his discretion, may deny secure remote access to ensure compliance with these provisions. However, the data accessed by secure remote access may be included in products or services provided to a third party of the subscriber provided that (i) such data is not made available to the general public and (ii) the subscriber maintains administrative, technical, and security safeguards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and limited availability of the data.

E. The clerk of the circuit court of any jurisdiction shall be immune from suit arising from any acts or omissions relating to providing secure remote access to land records pursuant to this section unless the clerk was grossly negligent or engaged in willful misconduct.

2007, cc. 548, 626; 2009, c. 312; 2011, c. 715; 2012, c. 234.

§ 17.1-295. (Effective until October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this title:

"Confidential court records" means any civil or criminal record maintained by a clerk of the circuit court designated by this Code as confidential or any such record sealed pursuant to court order.

"Electronic filing of court records" means the networks or systems maintained by a clerk of the circuit court, or the clerk's designated application service providers, for the submittal of instruments for electronic filing of court records in accordance with this title, the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the secure remote access standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Electronic recording of land records" means the networks or systems maintained by a clerk of the circuit court, or the clerk's designated application service providers, for the submittal of instruments for electronic filing of land records in accordance with the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (§ 55-142.10 et seq.), the provisions of Article 2.1 (§ 55-66.8 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 55 regarding the satisfaction of mortgages and the provisions of this title.

"Operational expenses" means expenses of the clerk of court used to maintain the clerk's office and includes, but is not limited to, (i) computer support, maintenance, enhancements, upgrades, and replacements and office automation and information technology equipment, including software and conversion services; (ii) preserving, maintaining, and enhancing court records, including, but not limited to, the costs of repairs, maintenance, consulting services, service contracts, redaction of social security numbers from certain records, and system replacements or upgrades; and (iii) improving public access to records maintained by the clerk, including locating technology in an offsite facility for such purposes or for implementation of a disaster recovery plan.

"Public access" means that the clerk of the circuit court has made available to subscribers that are other than governmental agencies, secure remote access to records maintained by the clerk in accordance with § 17.1-294.

"Secure remote access to court records" means public access by electronic means on a network or system to court records maintained by the clerk of the circuit court or the clerk's designated application service providers, in compliance with this title, the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the secure remote access standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Secure remote access to land records" means public access by electronic means on a network or system to land records maintained by the clerk of the circuit court or the clerk's designated application service providers, in compliance with the Secure Remote Access Standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Subscriber" means any person who has entered into a subscriber agreement with the clerk of the circuit court authorizing the subscriber to have secure remote access to land records or secure remote access to court records maintained by the clerk or the clerk's designated application service providers. If the subscriber is an entity with more than one person who will use the network or system to access land records maintained by the clerk, or the clerk's designated application service providers, each individual user shall execute a subscriber agreement and obtain a separate "user id" and "password" from the clerk. The subscriber is responsible for the fees due under this title and the proper use of the secure remote access system pursuant to the subscriber agreement, applicable Virginia law, and Secure Remote Access Standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

2008, cc. 823, 833; 2013, cc. 77, 263, 422; 2017, cc. 78, 92.

§ 17.1-295. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this title:

"Confidential court records" means any civil or criminal record maintained by a clerk of the circuit court designated by this Code as confidential or any such record sealed pursuant to court order.

"Electronic filing of court records" means the networks or systems maintained by a clerk of the circuit court, or the clerk's designated application service providers, for the submittal of instruments for electronic filing of court records in accordance with this title, the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the secure remote access standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Electronic recording of land records" means the networks or systems maintained by a clerk of the circuit court, or the clerk's designated application service providers, for the submittal of instruments for electronic filing of land records in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 (§ 55.1-346 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 55.1 regarding the satisfaction of mortgages, the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (§ 55.1-661 et seq.), and the provisions of this title.

"Operational expenses" means expenses of the clerk of court used to maintain the clerk's office and includes, but is not limited to, (i) computer support, maintenance, enhancements, upgrades, and replacements and office automation and information technology equipment, including software and conversion services; (ii) preserving, maintaining, and enhancing court records, including, but not limited to, the costs of repairs, maintenance, consulting services, service contracts, redaction of social security numbers from certain records, and system replacements or upgrades; and (iii) improving public access to records maintained by the clerk, including locating technology in an offsite facility for such purposes or for implementation of a disaster recovery plan.

"Public access" means that the clerk of the circuit court has made available to subscribers that are other than governmental agencies, secure remote access to records maintained by the clerk in accordance with § 17.1-294.

"Secure remote access to court records" means public access by electronic means on a network or system to court records maintained by the clerk of the circuit court or the clerk's designated application service providers, in compliance with this title, the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the secure remote access standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Secure remote access to land records" means public access by electronic means on a network or system to land records maintained by the clerk of the circuit court or the clerk's designated application service providers, in compliance with the Secure Remote Access Standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

"Subscriber" means any person who has entered into a subscriber agreement with the clerk of the circuit court authorizing the subscriber to have secure remote access to land records or secure remote access to court records maintained by the clerk or the clerk's designated application service providers. If the subscriber is an entity with more than one person who will use the network or system to access land records maintained by the clerk, or the clerk's designated application service providers, each individual user shall execute a subscriber agreement and obtain a separate "user id" and "password" from the clerk. The subscriber is responsible for the fees due under this title and the proper use of the secure remote access system pursuant to the subscriber agreement, applicable Virginia law, and Secure Remote Access Standards developed by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

2008, cc. 823, 833; 2013, cc. 77, 263, 422; 2017, cc. 78, 92.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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