Court Rejects Limiting Access To Criminal Cases

New Mexico – The state Supreme Court has rejected a proposal that would have stopped the public from having Internet access to closed criminal cases in which there was no conviction.

The court announced its decision on Thursday by issuing an order.

A court advisory board had recommended that an online court case lookup system no longer contain records of criminal cases that were closed because the defendant was acquitted or the charges were dismissed or vacated. The panel contended that the change would protect individuals from discrimination and "social stigma."

Opponents said the proposal was contrary to open government and would have made it more difficult for employers to research the criminal background of potential workers.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.