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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 12, 2016

Should NorCo Post Your Dirty Underwear Online?

Northampton County Executive John Brown is hardly known for his transparency. He ignores emails and telephone calls, not just from bottom-feeding bloggers like me, but from honest-to-goodness reporters as well. He is so secretive that no one knows where he really worked before he was elected. Now he's running for Auditor General, and all he will say on his candidate website is that he spent "most of his career working in the private sector turning around unprofitable businesses by making them more effective, efficient and successful." He identifies none of these businesses or the role that he played. That's none of your business. 

Once they ascend to the judicial heavens, judges become secretive as well. Online assessment records are scrubbed so that no snoop can determine where a black robe lives. Although it's really a bit paranoid, I understand. But the addresses of cops and DAs, who arguably are in more danger, are still there for the whole world to see. County officials have said No to cops asking for a little privacy, but judges are special.

So while judges and the Exec are all for being secretive when it comes to them, they are more than willing to share your dirty underwear online. Come October (assuming the County actually finishes something it starts on deadline), all of your skidmarks will be there for the world to see, as noted in the post above.

Unpleasant custody dispute? Bitter divorce? Squabble over an unpaid bill or a boundary dispute? It will be there for the entire world to see. Sure, federal records are available, too, but those usually involve important constitutional questions. This is nothing more than an invasion of privacy encouraged by people who themselves are secretive.

I have no problem with any person who wants to physically travel to the courthouse to find out what is happening in a case. But this just caters to the nosy.

County Council should enact a privacy ordinance under which (1) any person who wishes to have his name scrubbed from online assessment records should be able to do so; and (2) any person can opt out of online exhibition of civil records.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you really just pissed because people can easily and anonymously look up the rerecords of your buddy Ron Angle? Those assessment records would be some read.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Those records are already available, but you are apparently computer illiterate.

Anonymous said...

Some civil actions are already visible on the Commonwealth's Unified Justice System portal. You can see landlord-tenant actions, as well as actions against delinquent bill payers.

Anonymous said...

John Brown never really worked. His wife (who is a lovely lady) wears the pants and has always been the bread winner. He should strap-on his big boy pants!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Some civil actions are already visible on the Commonwealth's Unified Justice System portal. You can see landlord-tenant actions, as well as actions against delinquent bill payers."

Those are magistrate matters,and only an index. What Brown and Council want to do is post ALL civil records online, and not just an index. All the pleadings will be there for everyone to read. These are public records, but there is no reason to plaster them all over the Internet.

The courts and Brown don't want you to know a damn thing about themselves, but have absolutely no regard for your own privacy.This has never even been discussed

Anonymous said...

Well here ya go...run any name and find out!!

http://civildocketsearch.northamptoncounty.org/

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am aware of and have written about that site twice, while you were sleeping. I have no problem with that site bc it is merely an index. What I do have a problem with is any person being able to just look at the entire online file and all the personal details in those files. These are public records, but should not be accessible online bc it is an invasion of privacy. The judges don't want their names listed with property addresses online. Do they think they are the only ones with a need for some privacy? Brown won't even list where he worked, if anywhere, before being elected Exec. Yet he is willing to splatter all kinds of personal details about your lives online. All in the name of the Almightly Dollar.

Anonymous said...

The UJS portal is not merely an index. You can view docket sheets, showing the entire progression of the cases.
http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJ.aspx

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am aware that most federal litigation is available online. I have used it rxtensively here. I distinguish federal matters bc they involve federal questions or a very substantial sum of money. They don't handle divorces or custody disputes. People should be entitled to some privacy.

Anonymous said...

I support both the index website (actually used it today) and the more in depth system. However the more in depth system should be limited to investigative bodies, other courts, attorneys, or anyone who can demonstrate a need for easier access ( I believe Lehigh County is set up like this). For these groups it would save them a lot of time from having to go to the court house, look up what they need on the computer, and then have to look through an actual file (espically when they are from out of the county).

Hank_Hill

Anonymous said...

At one time one could go on line and find any property in Northampton County. It would show a picture of the property and the assessment as well as the current owner and last sale. It was an enormous aid to folks who were house shopping to get a handle on process and inflation. It was shut down I believe by John Stoffa. No one ever explained why. The rumor is that Stoffa did it because a friend of his did not want the information that easily assessable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was also an enormous aid to data miners, identity thieves and snoops. The Executive at this time was Glenn Reibman. I wrote a LTE complaining about this process and it was changed by Reibman. I had him in court several times and opposed him when he ran for Exec. If he was like you, he would have told me to go pound.But he's a lot more classy and chose to do the right thing.

Whether you like it or not, there is a constitutional right to privacy. The very notion of posting this information online has not even been discussed. The people of Northampton County deserve better treatment than this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You can ID yourself if you want to continue this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Patron bullshit

Justin cidah

Anonymous said...

@ 4:34. You can search any property by address at ncpub.org currently. They just took away the ability to search by owner name. Lehigh county did the same thing at one point.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, and I have no problem with a search by address. I also have no problem with "search by name" for people who register and are approved. I know some title companies that registered, though they grumble to me.

We need to be equally cautious about online civil records, if not more so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:48, But Baratta is correct. There is no treatment available inside the jail. We did away with it bc it cost too much. I think there is a legitimate public safety concern, but the SCRAM bracelet will at least knock out the alcohol use. Jails cost over $100 per day,and should be reserved for criminals. She is not a criminal, but is an addict. Also, if the heroin she supplied someone resulted in that person's death, why hasn't she been charged? It is one thing to make a connection in a news story, but quite different in a criminal prosecution. I think you are being too hard on Baratta.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie ,how does Lafayette Collage get their properties off NCpub.org.

Anonymous said...

Someone showing up at the courthouse to review records for whatever reason, I could see where that could be information valuable to someone. Sort-of "Guess who was in looking at..."
There are little niches everywhere, I guess.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't like that when you look at a file in NC, you must identify yourself. That's bc you are up to no good.