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2019 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.522. Remote access by persons working in a qualified legal services project providing brief legal services

(a) Application and scope

(1)  This rule applies to qualified legal services projects as defined in Business and Professions Code section 6213(a).

(2)  "Working in a qualified legal services project" under this rule includes attorneys, employees, and volunteers.

(3)  This rule does not apply to a person working in or otherwise associated with a qualified legal services project who gains remote access to court records as a party's designee under rule 2.518.

(b) Designation and certification

(1)  A qualified legal services project may designate persons working in the qualified legal services project who provide brief legal services, as defined in rule 2.501, to have remote access.

(2)  The qualified legal services project must certify that the authorized persons work in their organization.

(c) Level of remote access

Authorized persons may be provided remote access to the same electronic records that the authorized person would be legally entitled to inspect at the courthouse.

(d) Terms of remote access

(1)  Qualified legal services projects must obtain the party's consent to remotely access the party's electronic records.

(2)  Authorized persons must represent to the court in the remote access system that the qualified legal services project has obtained the party's consent to remotely access the party's electronic records.

(3)  Qualified legal services projects providing services under this rule may remotely access electronic records only to provide brief legal services.

(4)  Any distribution for sale of electronic records obtained under the rules in this article is strictly prohibited.

(5)  All laws governing confidentiality and disclosure of court records apply to electronic records obtained under this article.

(6)  Qualified legal services projects must comply with any other terms of remote access required by the court.

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

Rule 2.522 adopted effective January 1, 2019.

Advisory Committee Comment

The rule does not prescribe any particular method for capturing the designation and certification of persons working in a qualified legal services project. Courts and qualified legal services projects have flexibility to determine what method would work for both entities. For example, the information could be captured in a remote access system if an organizational-level account could be established, or the information could be captured in a written agreement between the court and the qualified legal services project.

The rule does not prescribe any particular method for a qualified legal services project to document the consent it obtained to access a person's electronic records. Qualified legal services projects have flexibility to adapt the requirement to their regular processes for making records. For example, the qualified legal services project could obtain a signed consent form for its records or could obtain consent over the phone and make an entry to that effect in its records, or the court and the qualified legal services project could enter into an agreement to describe how consent will be obtained and recorded.

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