As a general public, there are times when we need a Court Decision. Either to research, read as a reference, or maybe we have a similar case with the previous case that already has a Court decision. In this global era, with everything that uses the internet, it is very easy to get a copy of the Court’s Decision, either by searching on search engines or directly to the official website of the Supreme Court. We can quickly get the decision we want just by downloading the document that is displayed.
However, there are times the decision we are looking for cannot be found on the internet, either because the decision is too old or there is an error in the decision document. If this happens, then what do we do? According to the author’s experience, we can ask directly to the court where the decision was issued.
But, can we, as a general public, have a copy of a court decision? Whether it is the decision of the district court, high court, Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court?
Let’s first discuss the parties entitled to obtain a copy of the court decision.
Article 52A of Law Number 2 of 1986 concerning General Court as amended by Law Number 8 of 2004 concerning Amendment to Law Number 2 of 1986 concerning General Court and amended the last time with Law Number 49 of 2009 concerning Second Amendment Law Number 2 of 1986 concerning General Court (“General Court Law”) regulates as follows:
- The court is obliged to provide access to the public to obtain information relating to the decision and case fees in the court process.
- The court is required to submit a copy of the decision to the parties within a period of no later than 14 (fourteen) working days after the decision is pronounced.
- If the court does not carry out the provisions referred to in paragraph (1) and paragraph (2), the Court Chief will be subject to sanctions as provided for in the legislation.
In this article, it explains that the public (Article 52A paragraph 1 General Court Law) and the parties (Article 52A paragraph 2 General Court Law) could obtain information relating to the decision.
What needs to be underlined is that the public cannot request an official copy of a decision, but they can ask for a photocopy of the decision or its electronic document. Electronic documents are what we usually access on the official website of the Supreme Court while the photocopy is that we ask directly to the court where the decision was issued.
This matter is regulated in letter C. 2. 1 Attachment I of the Decree of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court No. 1-144/KMA/SK/I/2011 concerning Guidelines for Information Services in Court (“Decree of Supreme Court 1-144/2011”).
This provision states that:
C. Information that must be available at any time and can be accessed by the public
The court must manage and maintain the types of information below to ensure that the information is available and accessible to the public at any time.
C.2. Information on Cases and Hearings
1. All Court’s decisions, both those with permanent legal force and those without permanent legal force (in the form of photocopies or electronic copies, not official copies).
Now the question is, does asking for a copy of the decision in court require fees? The answer is YES. But that fee is not extortion or illegal levies. These fees do exist and regulated in Decree of Supreme Court 1-144/2011.
Regarding this matter, it is regulated in Attachment I Roman Number V Letter D Decree of Supreme Court 1-144/2011 concerning Information Costs, namely:
- The Applicant bears the cost of obtaining information.
- The information cost, as referred to in point 1, consists of the cost of duplicating (for example, a photocopy) of the information requested and the transportation costs to carry out the multiplication.
- The cost of duplicating, as referred to in point 2, is the real cost determined by the duplicating service.
- The Information Management and Documentation Officer determine the real cost of transportation for duplicating information as referred to in point 2 by considering the conditions of the region if such costs are required (for example, the location of the duplication service is far from the Court).
- Requests for information on duplicating decisions are not subject to stamp fees because what can be given to the applicant is not an official copy.
So, the conclusion from the above article is, we as the general public who are not parties to a case can obtain a photocopy of a copy of a court decision or electronic copy contained on the official website of the Supreme Court. If the copy of the court decision that we need is unavailable on the official website of the Supreme Court, then we can request a photocopy of a copy of the court’s decision by submitting an application to the relevant court.
It is also necessary to pay attention to the fact that when we request a photocopy of a copy of the court’s decision as an Applicant, there will also be a cost charged to us and the amount may be different in each court. What is also important to know is that to get a photocopy of a copy of a court decision directly in a related court, it cannot be directly obtained on the same day because in each court there is a formal step that must be followed to get a photocopy of a copy of a court decision. So, what we need to prepare besides money is sufficient time because requesting a photocopy of a copy of a court decision requires more than one day.
Hope it is useful,
FREDRIK J. PINAKUNARY LAW OFFICES