CHARLESTON - An online subscription service is providing online access to West Virginia court records in an effort to make it easier for individuals and entities to access circuit court documents.

Circuit Express began its effort nearly 15 years ago and 38 circuit courts across the state have been participating.

The 38 circuit courts began entering cases starting with 1975, which equates to an average of 30 years of West Virginia court documents.

Butch Evans, the president of Software Computer Group, said Circuit Express started with Kanawha County when it only had dial-up Internet.

"At that time, you had to dial in and only one person could be on at a time," Evans said. "We grew from there and got the website about four years ago."

The participating circuit courts scan in their files nightly so there is up-to-date information on the website for each of the courts.

Evans said many customers have praised Circuit Express, saying it has saved them and clients time and money.

"Our customers don't have to spend time at the circuit courts and looking for parking spots, they have access to the courts 24/7," Evans said. "It's very handy."

Evans said the company began the website due to popular demand.

Typical subscribers are law firms, state agencies, judicial entities, background checking firms, circuit judges, family judges county probation offices and prosecuting attorney offices.

Only public information can be accessed from Circuit Express. Sensitive information, including juvenile, mental hygiene and other items are not available.

The site can be accessed by anyone who subscribes. There is a one-time sign up fee of $125 and a monthly flat fee of $38 plus connect charge of $1 per minute. There is a minimum subscription time of six months.

Those interested in obtaining a two-day free trial of Circuit Express can contact Evans at sales@swcg-inc.com.

For more information on Circuit Express, call 1-800-205-4848 or go to www.wvcircuitexpress.com.

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