CHAPTER 871
COURTS

Table of Contents

Sec. 51-33. Punishment for contempt of court.
Sec. 51-36. Microfilming, destruction and transferring of court records.

      Sec. 51-33. Punishment for contempt of court.

      Court is authorized to impose sentence of six months' imprisonment for criminal contempt where defendant's use of profanity in open court disrupts court proceedings, reflects disobedience to court's order to be silent and imposes an indignity on authority of the court. 88 CA 599.

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)

      Sec. 51-36. Microfilming, destruction and transferring of court records. (a) The Chief Court Administrator may cause any and all court records, papers or documents, required to be retained indefinitely or for a period of time defined by (1) rules of court, (2) directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, or (3) statute, to be microfilmed. The device used to reproduce such records, papers or documents on microfilm shall be one which accurately reproduces the original thereof in detail. Such microfilm shall be considered and treated the same as the original records, papers or documents, provided a certificate of authenticity appears on each roll of microfilm. A transcript, exemplification or certified copy thereof shall for all purposes be deemed to be a transcript, exemplification or certified copy of the original. The original court records, papers or documents so reproduced may be disposed of in such manner as approved by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator. For the purposes of this subsection, "microfilm" includes microcard, microfiche, microphotograph, electronic medium or any other process which actually reproduces or forms a durable medium for so reproducing the original.

      (b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any judge of the Superior Court may order that official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in said court, the Court of Common Pleas or the Circuit Court, including official notes and tapes of evidence or judicial proceedings concerning title to land, taken more than seven years prior to the date of such order by any stenographer or official court reporter, be destroyed by the person having the custody thereof.

      (c) (1) In any case in which a person has been convicted after trial of a felony, other than a capital felony, the official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in the court may be destroyed upon the expiration of twenty years from the date of disposition of such case or upon the expiration of the sentence imposed upon such person, whichever is later.

      (2) In any case in which a person has been convicted after trial of a capital felony, the official records of evidence or judicial proceedings in the court may be destroyed upon the expiration of seventy-five years from the conviction of such person.

      (d) All court records other than records concerning title to land may be destroyed in accordance with rules of court. Records concerning title to land shall not be subject to any such destruction and may be retained in an electronic format, except that official notes and tapes of evidence or judicial proceedings concerning title to land may be destroyed. All court records may be transferred to any agency of this state or to any federal agency in accordance with rules of court or directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator, provided records in any action concerning title to land terminated by a final judgment affecting any right, title or interest in real property shall be retained for not less than forty years in the office of the clerk of the court location in which the judgment was rendered. Any other judicial branch books, records, papers or documents may be destroyed or transferred to any agency of this state or to any federal agency in accordance with directives promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator.

      (e) For the purposes of this section, "official records of evidence or judicial proceedings" includes (1) the court file, that contains the original documents or copies of any original documents that have been removed, (2) all exhibits from the parties, whether marked for identification or admitted as full exhibits, and (3) the transcripts of all proceedings held in the matter, including voir dire.

      (1949 Rev., S. 7710; 1953, S. 3131d; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 84; P.A. 74-183, S. 24, 291; P.A. 76-59, S. 1; P.A. 76-436, S. 57, 681; P.A. 82-188, S. 1, 3; P.A. 84-162, S. 1; P.A. 97-40, S. 3; P.A. 02-29, S. 1; P.A. 03-202, S. 11; P.A. 05-152, S. 4.)

      History: 1959 act substituted circuit court judge for municipal court judge, latter court having been abolished; P.A. 74-183 revised provisions to clarify responsibility of superior court judges for destruction of superior court records and responsibility of common pleas court judge for destruction of common pleas court records and to grant responsibility for circuit court records to common pleas judges, the circuit courts having been abolished, (previous provision stated that superior, common pleas and circuit court judges "may order that official records of evidence or judicial proceeding in any of such courts ... be destroyed") and added provision re destruction of records after twenty-five years at discretion of chief court administrator, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-59 replaced provision re destruction after twenty-five years with provisions allowing destruction of all records other than those concerning title to land in accordance with rules of court and absolutely prohibiting destruction of records re title to land; P.A. 76-436 revised section to grant superior court judges responsibility for records of common pleas and circuit courts, reflecting merger of common pleas and superior courts, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 82-188 added provisions re transfer of court records to state or federal agency in accordance with rules of court or directives of the judicial department and destruction or transfer of any other judicial department books, records, papers or documents; P.A. 84-162 added Subsec. (a) authorizing the microfilming of certain court records and designated previous provisions as Subsec. (b), replacing the "judicial department" with the "office of the chief court administrator" as the entity responsible for promulgating directives concerning the destruction or transfer of records and adding provision requiring records in any action concerning title to land to be retained for not less than forty years in the court clerk's office where the judgment was rendered; P.A. 97-40 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical changes and adding "electronic medium", divided former Subsec. (b) into Subsecs. (b) and (c) and added provisions allowing destruction of records after seven years, including official notes and tapes of evidence or judicial proceedings concerning title to land; P.A. 02-29 amended Subsec. (a) to make a technical change, amended Subsec. (b) to add exception re Subsec. (c), added new Subsec. (c) to establish in Subdivs. (1) and (2) the retention period for records in cases in which a person has been convicted after trial of a felony and of a capital felony, respectively, redesignated former Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d), and added new Subsec. (e) to specify items included in "official records of evidence or judicial proceedings"; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (a) by making technical changes, amended Subsec. (c)(2) by replacing "twenty-five years from the death of such person" with "seventy-five years from the conviction of such person", amended Subsec. (d) by replacing reference to "Judicial Department" with reference to "judicial branch" and amended Subsec. (e) by replacing "from which no documents have been removed" with "that contains the original documents or copies of any original documents that have been removed", adding subdivision designators and making technical changes; P.A. 05-152 amended Subsec. (a) by deleting "other than records concerning title to land", made technical changes in Subsec. (c) and amended Subsec. (d) by adding "and may be retained in an electronic format".

(Return to
Chapter Table of Contents)
(Return to
List of Chapters)
(Return to
List of Titles)