Smith County is among the 82 counties in Mississippi that are served by several courts. Chancery District Courts in Smith County hear matters related to domestic problems, adoption, custody disputes, divorce, guardianships, wills, and challenges to the laws and constitution of the state.
The District Court of Smith County hears the criminal cases and civil lawsuits. The Smith County courts are under the jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
The judicial records are a resource for lawyers as they can not only teach about law, accountability, and consequences of a certain matter but also help lawyers strategize in similar cases. The Smith County judicial records are also an important resource for the public of Smith County that they can benefit from when involved in legal proceedings.
Why Are Judicial Records Important?
Law school students study past trial records and the past verdict precedents to learn from them. If the cases were heard and solved behind closed doors, preventing the general public from gaining access to it, the legal models couldn’t have been set and there hasn’t been an opportunity to learn from them and evolve the legal system.
Over the past decades, the public has taken a keen interest in high-profile cases that were broadcast on T.V or reported in newspapers. The reporters had access to trial information that was further delivered to the masses.
This information helped the public interpret the matters and form their own opinions. The open court system helps empower citizens so they can question the state and also learn from the legal system.
How The Judicial Records Became Public?
In 1955, John Moss, a democratic congressman from California proposed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Moss felt that the government’s secrecy was increasing and that the country’s people had a right to be informed about the policies and actions the government is taking. This information could help people keep a watch on the government at all times. The FOIA bill was signed 11 years later by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
A strong need for transparency of court proceedings was in 1974, following the notorious Watergate scandal. In 1976, Gerald Ford introduced many new requirements and timeframes for the distribution of judicial records. And withholding the information willfully could have consequences.
Later in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed an amendment that forced the government agencies to ensure the availability of the court documents digitally for faster and convenient distribution.
In 2007, President George Bush allowed bloggers and journalists to access the government records for publishing.
The open public records have been in existence since the earliest colonial days that date back more than 350 years. The open court system gave people of the democratic society the freedom to speak, support the availability of information, and ensure the free flow of data.
When an attorney calls the judicial records for information for a case, they may find many similarities between their client and another defendant whose case was in court. The public records allow the attorneys to gather information and strategize for the cases they are working on. They often also require the information of people involved in a case for obtaining further information.
How To Get Smith County Judicial Records?
The Smith County judicial records of criminal cases can be requested at the Smith County’s Sheriff’s office. Another place to get access to Smith County Judicial records of criminal cases is the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Other Smith County Judicial records can be obtained through submitting a request at the District Clerk’s office. The Office of District Clerk is open from 8 am to 5 am on weekdays, so the request for access to Smith County Judicial records can be submitted physically at the office during the day.
You can also call the District Clerk’s Office to request Smith County Judicial records. A fee is charged in exchange for access to Smith County Judicial records that range from $1 for a few pages long record to $15 for a full record. Usually, the fee is charged for vital Smith County Judicial records only.
The Smith County Judicial records can also be accessed online through the Smith County Appraisal District (SCAD) website’s search page. The online documents can show details of tax, legal ownership, business information, address, and contact details. However, for acquiring more information, you’ll need to contact the District Clerk’s Office directly.
The person requesting access to the Smith County Judicial records has to present their government-issued I.D to obtain the information.
Why Are Smith County Judicial Records Important?
Smith County Judicial records help attorneys find out about previous cases and the contact information of individuals involved in court cases. Whether it’s in-depth investigative research or filing pleadings, the Smith County Judicial records can help attorneys better serve their clients.
Smith County Judicial records are essential for attorneys to gather evidence, conduct background research, and support their client’s cases overall.
Judicial records can help attorneys in numerous ways. It can provide answers to many vexing questions especially in cases that are related to a hot topic or a popular area. For example, if several people are suing a drug manufacturer for dangerous drugs and their effects on patients, accessing public records of the drug manufacturer can help an attorney gather evidence, construct arguments and contact other people who have suffered.
The attorneys can also gather more clientele when they are already representing a client. They can find more witnesses and gather evidence. Other than case-related benefits, they can also create a law firm by partnering with lawyers that they find through Smith County Judicial records. They look for cases of similar nature and the lawyers who represented the clients.
For instance, when an attorney wants to partner with another business attorney, they might access the Smith County Judicial records of all the business cases to find business attorneys’ contact information.
In a nutshell, accessing the Smith County Judicial records can help attorneys acquire extensive knowledge and make informed decisions. The fastest and most efficient way of accessing the Smith County Judicial records is through the online directory of the County Appraisal District (SCAD).