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2019 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.519. Remote access by a party's attorney

(a) Remote access generally permitted

(1)  A party's attorney may have remote access to electronic records in the party's actions or proceedings under this rule or under rule 2.518. If a party's attorney gains remote access under rule 2.518, the requirements of rule 2.519 do not apply.

(2)  If a court notifies an attorney of the court's intention to appoint the attorney to represent a party in a criminal, juvenile justice, child welfare, family law, or probate proceeding, the court may grant remote access to that attorney before an order of appointment is issued by the court.

(b) Level of remote access

A party's attorney may be provided remote access to the same electronic records in the party's actions or proceedings that the party's attorney would be legally entitled to view at the courthouse.

(c) Terms of remote access applicable to an attorney who is not the attorney of record

An attorney who represents a party, but who is not the party's attorney of record in the party's actions or proceedings, may remotely access the party's electronic records, provided that the attorney:

(1)  Obtains the party's consent to remotely access the party's electronic records; and

(2)  Represents to the court in the remote access system that he or she has obtained the party's consent to remotely access the party's electronic records.

(d) Terms of remote access applicable to all attorneys

(1)  A party's attorney may remotely access the electronic records only for the purpose of assisting the party with the party's court matter.

(2)  A party's attorney may not distribute for sale any electronic records obtained remotely under the rules in this article. Such sale is strictly prohibited.

(3)  A party's attorney must comply with any other terms of remote access required by the court.

(4)  Failure to comply with these rules may result in the imposition of sanctions, including termination of access.

Rule 2.519 adopted effective January 1, 2019.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (c). An attorney of record will be known to the court for purposes of remote access. However, a person may engage an attorney other than the attorney of record for assistance in an action or proceeding in which the person is a party. For example, a party may engage an attorney to (1) prepare legal documents but not appear in the party's action (e.g., provide limited-scope representation); (2) assist the party with dismissal or sealing of a criminal record when the attorney did not represent the party in the criminal proceeding; or (3) represent the party in an appellate matter when the attorney did not represent the party in the trial court. Subdivision (c) provides a mechanism for an attorney not of record to be known to the court for purposes of remote access.

Because the level of remote access is limited to the same court records that an attorney would be entitled to access if he or she were to appear at the courthouse, an attorney providing undisclosed representation would only be able to remotely access electronic records that the public could access at the courthouse. The rule essentially removes the step of the attorney having to go to the courthouse.

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