Pennsylvania has removed millions of public records from a state court system website, and while some say that's a troubling policy shift, others say it's reasonable.
State officials say they are just treating the electronic copies like paper ones, which are destroyed after a certain period of time.
The records that were removed in April involve minor crimes, traffic offenses, landlord-tenant disputes and small lawsuits, according to The Patriot News of Harrisburg. Records of serious crimes are kept for decades. Melissa Melewsky, a lawyer for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, says that the policy change makes finding public information more difficult, and in some circumstances impossible.
Steve Schell, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, says the policy is consistent with state Supreme Court guidelines on records.