The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is pursuing litigation against the Clerk of the Bentonville Division of the First Judicial District Court of Benton County Arkansas. The NAPBS is alleging that the clerk is using a “gross misinterpretation” of the State’s Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 19 to deny access to publicly available information. The NAPBS is a non-profit trade association that represents over 880 member companies that offer employment, tenant, and volunteer background screening services.
According to the official complaint, the clerk is currently requiring any person seeking individual court records to pay $5,000, complete a “Compiled Records License Agreement” and obtain a compiled records license from the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). The complaint also states that Administrative Order 19 and the compiled records licenses are only to be used for bulk extracts for a large number of individuals and this does not apply to individual case records. Following this type of regulation would make it extremely difficult for background screening companies to remain in compliance with the state’s request and provide screening services for subjects in this area.
Seven of the ten Arkansas courts that were denying public records have restored access, while only three continue denying the NAPBS’ requests: Bentonville, Craighead County-Lake City, and Craighead County – Jonesboro Division. Whether the NAPBS will consider filing a complain against both Craighead courts remains to be seen.
Click here to review the Arkansas State’s Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 19
Click here to review the official complaint