The Court of Appeals, the state’s Albany-based high court, will launch its new online service – the Court of Appeals Public Access and Search System (Court-PASS) – on Feb. 1 to give the public, lawyers and others in the legal community greater free access to its files and operations, according to Andrew W. Klein, the high court’s chief clerk and legal counsel,.

The system will increase accessibility to information contained in public records and briefs held by the court. Mechanism have been built into the digital filing system to ensure that confidential and sensitive matters – including Social Security numbers, financial account numbers and names of minor children – are unavailable, Klein said.

Court-PASS will be maintained as a permanent public archive for documents related to Court of Appeals cases pending on or filed after Jan. 1, 2013, and will be accessible on the court’s website,

The change is expected to improve efficiency and cut down on paper use.