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Local Business Claims SLO Superior Court is Denying Public Access

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif - A local business is claiming the San Luis Obispo Superior Court is denying public access to criminal records.

"I'm not suggesting that the court is intentionally denying us public access, but the reality is that we are being denied public access," said Judie Smith, a human resource consultant.

Smith runs background checks for other companies, "primarily for hiring, but also for getting apartments, mortgages, admissions to medical schools, that kind of thing, but predominantly employment," she said.

Smith said she supplies the court with a list of names for background checks and it usually takes three to four business days to get the checks back.

"When the court put in their new court system about three weeks ago that came to a screeching halt," she said.  

Smith said she hasn't received her lists back since Jan. 21, which could be detrimental to her clients.

"Well the consequence is that someone won't be offered an apartment or a job," she said.  

San Luis Obispo Superior Court issued this statement in response:

"These delays are a direct result of severe budget cuts imposed on the court, resulting in staffing shortages.  After a $4 million dollar budget cut and the loss of forty staff members, the court is struggling to maintain the minimum level of services to the public. No request for court records has been refused, unless legally required."  

Right now the courts are entering all data into a new case management system which has also contributed to the backlog. It plans to have all the cases entered into the system within the next few months. 

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