Wednesday, August 29, 2012
127. More Open Records Turmoil
Down in the southwest corner of the state, a legal case is underway that might impact the rest of the state, including us here in the state capital. Genealogists need to get behind any effort to open and keep open our public records.
EVANSVILLE — A Pike County resident and the Evansville Courier & Press are suing the Vanderburgh County Health Department to obtain access to cause of death information contained on death certificates maintained by the health department.
The newspaper and Rita Ward of Winslow, Ind., contend the death certificates are public records, while the health department interprets state law to require it to restrict access to them.
It's information the newspaper had published on its public records page from 2002 until May when the health department suddenly stopped including death causes in the information it provided to the newspaper. [See August 15, 2012, issue of the C & P newspaper online.]