June 10, 1993
Digest: It is permissible for a town court to allow its computerized files to be made part of a town computer network system, provided the judges of the town court are satisfied that the confidentiality of court matters will be safeguarded.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.3(b).
A town court judge inquires about the ethical and legal ramifications of participating in a computer network system developed by the town.
The inquiring judge states that the town has developed a computer network system, the mainframe of which is located in the town police department. The town Police Chief will be the system supervisor. If the town court puts its software program on the mainframe, the security of the court’s files will be the responsibility of the police department.
It is the opinion of this Committee that the court may participate in the compute network system, provided that the court is satisfied that the confidentiality of court matters will be adequately safeguarded. This Committee does not pass upon the legal ramifications, if any, of becoming part of the computer network.