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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.501. Application, scope, and information to the public

(a) Application and scope

The rules in this chapter apply only to trial court records as defined in rule 2.502(3). They do not apply to statutorily mandated reporting between or within government entities, or any other documents or materials that are not court records.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted as subd (b) effective July 1, 2002; amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Information to the public

The website for each trial court must include a link to information that will inform the public of who may access their electronic records under the rules in this chapter and under what conditions they may do so. This information will be posted publicly on the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov. Each trial court may post additional information, in plain language, as necessary to inform the public about the level of access that the particular trial court is providing.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted as subd (c) effective July 1, 2002; amended and relettered effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 2.501 amended effective January 1, 2019; adopted as rule 2017 effective July 1, 2002; amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

Advisory Committee Comment

The rules on remote access do not apply beyond court records to other types of documents, information, or data. Rule 2.502 defines a court record as "any document, paper, or exhibit filed in an action or proceeding; any order or judgment of the court; and any item listed in Government Code section 68151(a)-excluding any reporter's transcript for which the reporter is entitled to receive a fee for any copy-that is maintained by the court in the ordinary course of the judicial process. The term does not include the personal notes or preliminary memoranda of judges or other judicial branch personnel, statutorily mandated reporting between government entities, judicial administrative records, court case information, or compilations of data drawn from court records where the compilations are not themselves contained in a court record." (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 2.502(3).) Thus, courts generate and maintain many types of information that are not court records and to which access may be restricted by law. Such information is not remotely accessible as court records, even to parties and their attorneys. If parties and their attorneys are entitled to access to any such additional information, separate and independent grounds for that access must exist.

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