On or about June 14, 2019, I had proffered to the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas, Clerk of Criminal Court, a request for access to any and all records pertaining to the Molly Maguire trials. Much of the original court files are missing, which should be in the custody of the Clerk of Criminal Court or subsequently filed in Schuylkill County Archives. I wanted to review the original court records that have remained. The only remaining Molly Maguire trial records stored within the Schuylkill County Archives are electronic records, saved in PDF format.
After the submission of a request for access, that would allow to have duplication of the records in the same media as maintained by Schuylkill County and permitted under the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, I was denied such access and was told such files would need to be changed from electronic format to paper after paying an exorbitant fee, by the Clerk of Criminal Court. I contacted an attorney promptly and brought a suit against the Clerk of Criminal Court by filing a Motion to Compel. On December 31, 2019, Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin ordered the motion be granted and that the Schuylkill County Clerk of Criminal Court shall deliver such materials listed in my petition, to be delivered to me.
This was the first time in 142 years, that the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas delivered justice to my family. I did not want anyone else to tolerate the same outcome as I had come to experience. Impediments to the transparency of government need not to be made acceptable to the citizens the government serves. The Schuylkill County Courthouse, with the prison behind it, is pictured below.