E-Government: Jurisdictional issues and legal advice


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From AZLA, 2010. PowerPoint presentation from the Tuesday 10:30 a.m. presentation on E-Government by Jim Drake

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E-Government: Jurisdictional issues and legal advice

  1. 1. E - Government (jurisdiction issues and legal advice)
  2. 2. What the requests usually look like when they cross my desk • “Gosh, I hope you can help me, my email inquiry has been forwarded to fifteen individuals and I have been trying for two weeks to learn . . .” or • “*#@!%%$!!$, Government is garbage, none of @#$!##$%$ people know how to do your job . . .”
  3. 3. Public perception • “We don’t care, we don’t have to . . . we’re the phone company.”
  4. 4. Reality • Most, if not all, if not all of the information sought is available . . . but, you have to look in the right place. • Government publications experts on staff, no longer the norm. Where can you turn? – General information questions: (602) 926-3870 E-mail: research@lib.az.us – Law related questions: (602) 926-3948 E-mail: sll@lib.az.us
  5. 5. Reality (http://www.lib.az.us/is/state/index.aspx#find) • Databases - Selected Arizona State Agency: • Arizona Biographical Index This database is a work in progress and contains over 100,000 entries for people mentioned in the collection of books, newspaper articles, periodicals, obituaries and vertical files in the History and Archives Division (State Archives) of Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. • Arizona Memory Project Cultural institutions from around Arizona are joining in this effort to provide online access to government documents, photographs, maps, and objects that chronicle Arizona's past and present. • Charitable Organizations System Charitable Organizations doing business in Arizona are required to file with the Arizona Secretary of State. This database may be used to search for a charity by name. Please note: the Secretary of State does not determine whether any charity is "legitimate" or not but is only attempting to provide public access to public records. • Contractors - License Check The Arizona Registrar of Contractors regulates building contractors. This database can be used to check the status of a license of a contractor or company doing business in Arizona. • Corporations - Arizona The Arizona Corporation Commission's State of Arizona Public Access System has information about corporations and limited liability companies with a business presence in Arizona, and their statutory agents, officers, and directors. • Doctor Search - Arizona (select the link from the navigation bar at the left) The Arizona Medical Board provides a database of licensed Physicians and Physician Assistants which can be searched by name or specialty. • Inmate Search - Arizona The Arizona Dept. of Corrections' inmate database includes information on over 112,000 inmates who were in the custody of the Department in 1985 and inmates who arrived since then. See also: Historical Prison Register, a listing of inmates received during the 100 years prior to 1972 • Lobbyist Search Designated lobbyists file reports with the Arizona Secretary of State and this database may be used to search for the names and expenditures of lobbyists as well as the principals and public bodies employing the lobbyists. • Real Estate Licensees The Arizona Dept. of Real Estate regulates 4,600 real estate firms and has information about more than 41,000 individual licensees which can be accessed through this database. • School Report Cards The Arizona Dept. of Education has compiled information about public and charter schools in Arizona which can be searched by school name, school district or by ZIP Code. • Technical Professions - License Check The Board of Technical Registration regulates architects, assayers, engineers, geologists, home inspectors, landscape architects, surveyors and remediation specialists. This database can be used to check the status of a license of one of these professionals doing business in Arizona. • Trade Names/Service Marks - Arizona The Name index contains all partnerships, trade names and trademarks on file with the Arizona Secretary of State, as well as corporations and limited liability companies on file with the Corporations Division of the Corporation Commission.
  6. 6. There is no substitute . . . • For actual time spent looking for answers. SURF!
  7. 7. Looking in the right place • Government is not always intuitive. – If you need a copy of the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act, where would you go? – Department of Housing? – Real Estate Department? – State Legislature? Answer: The Secretary of State’s Office
  8. 8. Looking in the right place • See a bug in a restaurant? Who do you call? • Department of Health Services? Statewide agency charged with public health . . . right? – Answer: Public health, as it relates to dining establishment cleanliness is under the jurisdiction of county health departments.
  9. 9. Looking in the right place • “Well, in Maine, you folks handle all of the vehicle registrations!” • State to State comparisons are not always valid.
  10. 10. Answering the unanswerable (difference between legal advice and legal information) • Can my landlord throw me out if I’ve only missed one month’s rent? • If my neighbors leave their kids home all day unsupervised, is that child endangerment? • What is the best way for me to file this . . . should I give my campaign a loan or an outright contribution? • “Hello, I need your help, I am the Queen of Ireland, but I have been dethroned and exiled because of some papers in Donald Trump’s briefcase . . .”
  11. 11. Difference between “legal advice” and “legal information” • Wonderful publications published for court personnel: Guide to Court Customer Assistance: Legal Advice – Legal Information Guidelines for Arizona Court Personnel http://supreme.state.az.us/courtserv/Legal_A-I/ManualGloss.p ; 69 pages • Question and Response Handbook http://supreme.state.az.us/courtserv/Legal_A-I/QRHandbook.p (available in English and Spanish); 30 pages • Signage describing level of service available: http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/27/Legal/Signage.pdf (in English); http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/27/Legal/Signage_Spani sh.pdf (in Spanish)
  12. 12. Difference between “legal advice” and “legal information” • Responsibility to simply present objective facts as opposed to giving advice. • Don’ts – counsel – interpret based on the person’s facts – recommend a course of action • Do’s – Identify available procedural options – Remain neutral and impartial
  13. 13. Solutions E-mail the state library with your question. • General information questions: (602) 926-3870 E-mail: research@lib.az.us • Law related questions: (602) 926-3948 E-mail: sll@lib.az.us Listen/Read carefully the inquiry and narrow the scope if necessary. Refrain from giving legal advice, but give legal information. Allow sufficient time to respond.
  14. 14. Solutions • “Phone a friend” or “The Rolodex solution” – cultivate a friend at the state, county and municipal level. Preferably, someone who is a little long in the tooth with regard to years of service!
  15. 15. Reward The “thank you” note!