By Linda Sutter – March 15, 2021

The Del Norte County law library is closed to the public using Covid as the excuse. However, the Sacramento Law Library is opened to the public Monday through Friday 0900-1600 hours. Masks must be worn. Up until the first of March access to the LexisNexis program for legal research and writing was conducted from your own home computer, once you received a password from LexisNexis. There has been no reason explained to the public why the public no longer has access to the Lexis Nexis program, other than, “you can Google what you need to know.” although that statement is somewhat true, it is equally false.

The LexisNexis program allows you to type in keywords that bring up a variety of cases. The Google search engine you must know the name of the case. Lexis Nexis program allows you to Shepardize cases you plan to use in your legal brief, that is part of the paid plan that LexisNexis provides, which is not provided by Google.

I was informed by a Law Library member the thought was to place NexisLexis on a computer at the Mailroom and to charge the public $7.00 per hour to use the computer. The only problem with that is the Del Norte County residents pay taxes. Some of those taxes go to the law library for the LexisNexis use provided by the law library which is free, after all we pay for it. The law library board members wants to place a free program onto the Mail Rooms computer, and then charge the public $7 per hour for the use of that computer which is solely owned by the Mail Room. I am in support of the mailroom, however; when you conduct legal research, it takes quite a few hours which would be costly and down right unaffordable. Additionally, since there is no current available legal research program available to the public how is that affecting people and their cases? No access to legal research. Hmm. How does that affect due process? Asking for a friend.

It would be better to provide service to the public the way they have been in the last year. User ID was your email address and then a password was provided. Or open the library. Living in Del Norte County with the lowest cases of Covid in the State, and having services prohibited based upon a population of 100,000 is completely unjustified and unwarranted. There is absolutely no reason to have the law library closed down based upon our numbers. All County services are opened. Why is the Law Library, or the Court taking a position? And please don’t use Covid as an excuse.

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