Public Records Free Directory Blog

News and information about access to public records

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What Happened at Your Local Council Meeting?

March 29th, 2014 · Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New York, Uncategorized

Have you attended a City Council or County Commission meeting in your area recently? Do you want to know what is scheduled for an upcoming Council meeting or what happened at the last Commission meeting?

In a recent article in The Seattle Times, entitled “Talk of the Town,” by Nancy Bartley, Seattle Times staff reporter, cities and towns around the country are establishing new rules regarding public meetings. Cities and counties are experiencing citizens that use public comment time during meetings to discuss a political candidate, sell a product, or promote a blog. According to Tim Ford, former Ombudsman for Washington State Attorney General’s Office, the State of Washington Open Public Meeting Act does not require cities to allow citizens to speak at meetings, except during public hearings. Cities can limit public comment time in a hearing. If they do allow comment, they can regulate foul language or comments that have no relation to city business. Some cities have found it necessary to limit public comment and are revising the frequency of meetings or length of public comment.

If you’d like to follow the happenings at council meetings in your area, or find out the policies of the meetings, you can find online information on our “Free Public Records Search Directory” website. From the main page of our site, choose your state and county and then scroll to any available “meeting minutes and agendas.” You can also search for city or town meeting links using the alphabet of cities and towns at the top of each county page. As an added benefit, many cities record their meetings making it possible to view the meetings on tv or online, which are also available on our website.

For instance, the City of Phoenix, Arizona, provides meeting agendas, meeting minutes and meeting videos from 2002 to present all on one “formal meetings” website. On Los Angeles County, California’s “proceedings” website, you can search meeting agendas by keyword or exact phrase including by date range.

The Miami-Dade County, Florida, “webcast” website provides links to meeting videos, MP 3 audio and MP4 video for the County Commissioners, and a number of other County commissions and committees. You can view the City of Boston, Massachusetts, “City Council meeting” agendas, minutes and videos by date from present to 2011.

New York City has a great website “NYC gov” that provides a link to the Mayor’s daily press conferences, announcements, town hall meetings, bill signings, and keynote speeches, and a link to the City Council’s legislation, hearings and press room. You can watch the proceedings on tv, on itunes, and on the City’s video on demand site.

As you can see, if you are interested in attending a meeting, knowing what is planned for an upcoming meeting, or either watch or read what was discussed in a prior meeting, we can provide links for most of the municipalities in the U.S. If staying informed is important to you, please take advantage of this great resource. We also provide links to other public records including laws, codes, permits, court records, and more.

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Voter Information and Upcoming Elections

March 1st, 2014 · Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, Uncategorized, Washington

With local and statewide elections coming up this month and in April, you may be wondering what is on the ballot, where to vote or how to register to vote . You can get answers to these questions and more by using our “Voter Records and Elections Information Resources” website.

On the main “Voter Records” webpage, click on the name of your state for statewide election information, voter registration, campaign finance, election results, and more. For information at the local level, you can scroll to your specific county, city or town. Some municipalities will have online information and some will have contact information only.

Examples of some of the available online information includes Arizona’s “Elections” website, which provides a search by county of upcoming elections, your voter registration information, the name and address of the polling place where you’re registered to vote and the status of your absentee ballot. You may also register to vote online on many of the county election websites. California also has a great “Elections” website including such items as statewide ballot measures, upcoming and prior elections, voter registration, and voting resources.

You can check “candidates and races,” among other election related information on Florida’s “Division of Elections” website. On our New Jersey “election page“, there are a variety of links such as lobbying reports, campaign finance reports, election contributions, voter registration status, and a polling place locator. The State of Washington’s “Elections and Voting” website has a link for “Offices Open for Election in 2014” including the office name, incumbent, where to file and filing fee.

These websites are just a few examples of the online voter and election information available to help you navigate the voting process and to stay informed about current and upcoming elections. Be sure to use our “Free Public Records Search Directory” website for a variety of your other public record needs including land records, property tax records, laws, and more.

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Bar Associations – Find a Lawyer and More

January 24th, 2014 · Bar Associations, District of Columbia, states

Since there are a number of reasons for obtaining information about a lawyer, you may want to use our website to either find a lawyer or research a lawyer. Using our “Bar Association Records Resources” website, you can access State Bar Association lawyer directories for all 50 states. Each of the State Bar Associations provide online access to its directory of lawyers. Also included on our website are links to certain County Bar Associations by state.

Depending on your specific state, you may be able to search for a lawyer in a variety of ways. The Alabama State Bar “Member Search” includes a search by last name, city, firm or law school. The Arizona “Find a Lawyer” provides a search by city, specialty or language spoken. Colorado’s Bar Association website also provides a search by name, area of practice, region or language.

On the Kansas Bar Association “member search,” you can search for a lawyer within a certain distance, and West Virginia’s “Find a Lawyer” website allows a search by practice, zip code or radius with results shown on an interactive map.

Some of the Bar Associations provide other types of searches such as Florida’s “Defense Lawyers Association Directory” and Florida’s “Criminal Defense Lawyers Directory.” The State Bar of Texas has an extensive “Find a Lawyer” website including searches by education, practice area, services provided, language assistance and law school.

In addition to accessing California’s “Attorney Search,” the website has a great section on “How Can I Find and Hire the Right Lawyer?” Another service provided by State Bar Associations are websites that include disciplinary actions such as Washington DC “Attorney Discipline System,” Massachusetts “Disciplinary Decisions” by year from 1999 to present, and the Virginia State Bar’s “Attorney Records Search” includes information about attorneys disciplined since January 1991.

As you can see, rather than looking online for an attorney through a random name search or attempting to search the yellow pages for an attorney, the State Bar Association websites are a perfect way to check the status of an attorney or to find an attorney either by name, type of practice, language spoken or location.

If you have other research needs, please use our “Free Public Records Search Directory” which can be searched by type of record, state, county or city and includes such records as court records, crime reports, laws, land records, genealogy records, and more.

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