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Public Record Update Newsletter © May 2010

Public Record Update
May, 2010
MN Closes Vessel Records to Permissible Users

As a result of recent legislation, records related to the ownership and registration of watercraft, snowmobiles, off-highway vehicles, and off-highway motorcycles vehicle records held by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may no longer be accessed by the private sector unless written consent is given by the owner. This ban includes access to lien records on titled watercraft. 


MN statute section 84.0874 classifies electronic licensing transactions involving the DNR as private data. Since all vessel-related transactions involving the issuance of licenses, registrations, stickers, or passes are electronic, the data related to these transaction are now closed. The statute also affects hunting and fishing license information. Previously, the NDR followed the permissible use requirements of DPPA and permitted entities with a legitimate business interest - such as lending institutions, attorneys, and insurance companies - to access the record information.


To view the statute and related material visit

Obtaining Crash Reports in Louisiana


The Louisiana State Police, Traffic Records Unit recently launched a new web service that enables one to purchase a copy of a crash report. The request requires first and last name, date of crash, and parish location of crash. The initial search is free and a limited preview is shown. However, to view and download a PDF version of the report a fee of $8.50 is required.


To utilize this service, visit and click on Crash Report REQ found on the lower left side of the screen.

U.S. Bankrupcty Court's McVCIS Adds Northern Ohio District


The new Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS) is officially adding the Northern District of Ohio Bankruptcy Court to its list of users on June 1, 2010. McVCIS is slowly replacing VCIS as the means to obtain bankruptcy case information 24/7 by using a touch-tone telephone. The advantage McVCIS brings is that all participating courts use the same toll-free telephone number - 866-222-8029. With VCIS one must find and use the particular telephone number for that particular Court District. When a court transitions to McVCIS, both the older VCIS and new McVCIS number are supported for a limited time.   


The McVCIS system is quite simple to operate. You are given the choice of language then asked to pick a specific court. For example, Massachusetts is #1, California Eastern District is #5, and Colorado #22. 

If you wish to have a list of the courts on McVCIS, merely listen to the nessage and jot them down. 

If you wish to obtain a list of all the bankrupcty courts' VCIS/McVCIS numbers, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts provides a list of VCIS and McVCIS numbers in use at However, this list is not current. In fact the list shows only one court (MD) having the McVCIS system in place and it shows a number of telephone numbers that are no longer in use. Personnel at the U.S. Courts indicated that their list is only changed when a bankruptcy court gives them notification, which evidently is not very often. BRB is making every effort to keep an up-to-date list for our PRRS users.

If you wish to obtain a list, we can help you out. Please call us at 800-929-3811.

Fresno County Superior Court Closes Fowler Branch

Effective April 30, 2010, the Fresno County Superior Court closed the Fowler branch courthouse. The Fowler branch heard civil, small claims and traffic cases. All current cases and recent case files were moved to the branch court in Selma. Case files older than 2008 were moved to the archives in Fresno.


Fowler's phone number was disconnected. The phone number for Selma is 559-457-6399.


Canton U.S. Bankruptcy Court Relocating

Effective June 1, 2010, the Canton Division of the Northern District of Ohio U.S. Bankruptcy Court is moving to a new physical address. The court will relocate to the Ralph Regula Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse located at 401 McKinley Avenue, S.W., Canton, Ohio, 44702. The phone numbers remain the same.

To Our Readers...


We welcome your comments and observations about this newsletter. Please address your comments to Michael Sankey at [email protected].

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