Privacy/Public Access to Court Records

State Links

Alabama

October 2008 - The Supreme Court of Alabama ordered that Rule 33 (Access to electronically stored data) and Rule 40 be amended to clarify the differences between the records stored in the circuit clerk offices and the electronic data and document images stored in the AOC electronic database.

Alaska

Administrative Rule 37.5 - 37.837.8 Electronic Case Information. Information not available on the Web site: address and phone numbers of parties and witnesses. victim information, social security, driver and vehicle license, and financial account numbers, names of minor children, and juror information.

Order No. 1622. October 15, 2006.

Arizona

Summary of Changes under consideration for Arizona Supreme Court Rule 123 designed to reconcile privacy and public access Interests. Includes proposed amendment to Rule 123 and sample confidential sensitive data form. Sensitive Data defined as -- social security numbers, financial account numbers, juvenile crime victims’ names, adult and juvenile crime victims’ addresses and phone numbers.
Rule 123.Public Access to the Judicial Records of the State of Arizona.

Arkansas

Administrative Order 19 .Access to Court Records.   This order applies to all court records; however clerks and courts may, but are not required to, redact or restrict information that was otherwise public in case records and administrative records created before January 1, 2009. 
Information is restricted to only the last four digits of social security numbers, only the last four digits of driver’s license or equivalent state identification card numbers, only the year of birth, or only the ZIP code of addresses. Account numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs) of specific assets, liabilities, accounts, and credit cards

Arkansas Judiciary - Task Force on Public Access and Privacy.

California

Public Access to Electronic Trial Court Records2011 California Rules of Court, Title 2, (Trial Court Rules) Division 4 (Court Records). Rules  2.500 - 2.507.    
These rules are intended to provide the public with access to court records that are maintained in electronic form, while protecting privacy interests. (Rule 2.500(a).) Electronic records of some types of cases (e.g., civil) are to be made available remotely if feasible, whereas other types (e.g., criminal and family law) are to be made available only at the court house. (Rule 2.503.) A special provision governs the remote electronic access allowed in extraordinary criminal cases. In such cases, “the court should, to the extent feasible, redact the following information from records to which it allows remote access under (e): driver license numbers; dates of birth; social security numbers; Criminal Identification and Information and National Crime Information numbers; addresses and phone numbers of parties, victims, witnesses, and court personnel; medical or psychiatric information; financial information; account numbers; and other personal identifying information."(Rule 2.503(e).)

Colorado

Public Access to Court Records.   Policy adopted December 2006.
Section 4.60.  Court Records Excluded from Public Access.   Exclusions include social security numbers, financial files, addresses and telephone numbers, information relating to victims, witnesses, and impartial parties.  

Connecticut

Public Access to Task Force Report.  September 15. 2006.
"4. Recommendation related to identity theft
In order to lessen the likelihood of identity theft, the committee recommends that the Judicial Branch insure that its forms do not request social security numbers, financial account numbers, or other information which may likely lead to identity theft unless such information is necessary for the adjudicatory process."
Public Access Task Force.

Delaware

Record Access in Family Court.   Access to Court files is limited because of the confidentiality of most Family Court records.   Public Access  Policy - April 23, 2008
Justice of the Peace Court - Policy on Public Access to Judicial Records.  (January 25, 2006). Access to Court Records exception: The identity of witness or the residential address, telephone number or place of employment of a victim or witness.

Federal Courts

Judiciary Privacy Policy.   March 2008 version of the Judicial Conference Policy on Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Files in the Federal Courts.

Florida

Committee on Access to Court Procedures.  AOSC06-27  08-21-2006.
"The committee's overall conclusion was that while remote electronic access to court records should be a goal of the Florida Judicial Branch, numerous obstacles exist that do not allow for responsible provision of such access at this time."
Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2009.  Rule 2.420 (formerly Rule 2.051) Page 39.  Public Access to Judicial Branch Records.
Privacy and Court Records. The Florida State Courts released the Final Report of the Committee on Privacy and Court Records on August 16, 2005. 

Notice - Public Record Privacy - Palm Beach County.   

Hawaii

Disclaimer    The information displayed is not the official record for a case and does not comprise all information from official court records available to the public. The Judiciary has attempted to protect personal identifiers by blocking out electronic data fields containing Social Security numbers, birth dates, home addresses and home telephone numbers.

Idaho

Idaho Court Administration Rules.   Rule 32 . Records of the judicial department - Examination, inspection and copying - Exemption from and limitations on disclosureFamily Law Case Information Sheet.  April 21, 2005  This form is exempt from public disclosure and should be placed in a separate  envelope in the file and treated as confidential.  Includes social security number, date of birth, addresses, and more. 

Illinois

Electronic Access Policy for Circuit Court Records of the Illinois Courts. April 1, 2004.   Section 4.3 - Electronic Court Records Excluded from Public Access.  "Financial information that provides identifying account numbers on specific assets, liabilities, accounts, credit cards, first five digits of social security number, or P.I.N. numbers of individuals or business entities." 

Indiana

Indiana Court Rules - Administrative Rules.  Rule 9 - Access to Court Records. February 1, 2007.   Section G.
(d) - Data elements excluded from Public Access: Complete social security numbers, financial account numbers, and witness or victim identifiers. 

Iowa

Iowa Court Rules - Rules of Civil Procedure - 1.422 Protected information. It is the responsibility of counsel and the parties to ensure that protected information is omitted or redacted from documents.  “Protected information” includes the following: (1) Social security numbers. (2) Financial account numbers.(3) Personal identification numbers. (4) Other unique identifiers.  Confidential Information Forms.

Kansas

Administrative Order 123 - Re: Rule Requiring Use of Cover Sheets and Privacy Policy Regarding Use of Personal Identifiers in Pleadings  (July 2005). 

A Guide to Judicial Branch Open Records Requests.

Kentucky

2006 Proposed Amendments to the Kentucky Rules of Evidence .   (2006) D. CR 10 .01 Caption ; names of parties - personal data identifiers.   Parties or attorneys are responsible for partially redacting personal identifiers such as social security numbers, (last four digits) dates of birth (year only), financial account numbers (last four digits) and names of minor children.

Maryland

Maryland Rules Governing  Access to Court Records .   October 1, 2004 plus Amendments.  Rule 16-1007c - Requested Denial of Inspection - Specific Information in Court Records revealing:
(
c) Any part of the social security or Federal Identification Number of an individual, other than the last four digits.

Massachusetts

Policy Statement Concerning Publication of Court Case Information on the Web.  May 3, 2003.
Section 6
.  "No information regarding an individual's address, telephone number, social security number or date of birth should appear."

Minnesota

Rules of Public Access to Records of the Judicial Branch.  Effective July 1, 1988 with amendments effective September 1, 2012.   Data element exclusions on remote access records include Social Security, Employer ID, telephone, and financial account numbers.  Juror, witness and victim identification.  The Limits to Public Access to Court Records table defines the data fields that are unaccessible remotely. 

Missouri

Court Operating Rule 2Public Access to Records of the Judicial Department. Revised June 1, 2006. Rule 2.05 - Access to Social Security Numbers.   "Dissemination of social security numbers appearing in court databases shall be restricted to court personnel and to those state or federal agencies to which the court has a statutory or constitutional duty to disclose."  

Montana

Access to Court Records   Provides a summary of rules of privacy and access to court records in Montana. Identifies social security numbers, financial account numbers, full birthdays, and full names of minor children as sensitive data protected from public access. 

Nevada

Order Adopting Rules to Sealing and Redacting Court Records in the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada. (December 2007)  Rule 2, Section 6 covers redacting social security numbers, driver's licence numbers and personal financial numbers.

New Hampshire

Public Access to Court Records.   Report of the New Hampshire Supreme Court Task force on Public Access to Court Records.  February 2006.   Rules based on  CCJ/COSCA Guidelines.  The proposed rule states that personal identifiers will be encrypted rather than redacted   Proposed Rule 4.60.  Court Records Excluded from Public Access.   Data elements include: "street address, telephone number, social security number, State identification number, driver’s license number, fingerprint number, financial account number, and place of employment of any party or non-party in a criminal or civil case, including victims in criminal cases, nonparty witnesses, and informants."

New Jersey

Directive 15-05.   New Jersey Judiciary Open Records Report.  Policies and Procedures for Access to Case-Related Court Records, Staff Guidelines.  November 4, 2005.   Does not address remote access issues. 

New York

Report to the Chief Judge of the State of New York.   Commission on Public Access to Court Records.  (March 2004)   Civil Case Files Recommendation: "That documents in civil case files should be made available electronically to the same extent that they are available at the courthouse with one exception (Social Security cases should be excluded from electronic access) and one change in policy (the requirement that certain “personal data identifiers” be modified or partially redacted by the litigants). These identifiers are Social Security numbers, dates of birth, financial account numbers and names of minor children." 

North Dakota

Access to Court Records - Administrative Rule 41.  Amended July 1, 2006.
Section 5. Court Records Excluded From Public Access. 
"(8) social security numbers, credit, debit, or electronic fund transfer card numbers, and any financial account numbers."

Ohio

Policy on Public Access to Records Maintained by the Ohio Courts. approved July 12, 2005.   Page 122.  Appendix B: Analysis of Data Elements.  Social security numbers, finanacial account numbers and personal identification numbers were identifed as sensitive elements.  

Pennsylvania

Electronic Case Record Public Access Policy.  Effective January 1, 2007.   Information excluded from public access include:  Social security,  operator license, state identification (SID). financial account, and credit card numbers, victim, informant, witness, and juror information, party street address and otherwise restrcted information.. 

South Dakota

SDCL ch. 15-15A .  Court Records Rule   The purpose of this rule, effective July 1, 2004,  is to provide a comprehensive policy on access to court records.  Personal identifying information including social security numbers, date of birth, tax payer ID and financial account numbers are placed on a separate sheet and kept confidential.

Texas

Public Access to Court Case Records in Texas.  August 2004.  Texas Judicial Council Committee on Public Access to Court Records.    

Final Approval of Rule 12 of the Texas Rules of Judicial Administration.
     April 1999. 12.5 Exemptions from Disclosure:
(d) Home address and family information. Any record reflecting any person's home address, home or personal telephone number, social security number, or family members.

Utah

Rule 4-202.12 repealed. Related Content.

Washington

GR 31  Access to Court Records.   Amended January 3, 2006.  Section (e)  Personal Identifiers Omitted or Redacted from Court Records:  social security numbers, financial account numbers, and drivrer's licence numbers. 
"The responsibility for redacting these personal identifiers rests solely with counsel and the parties."

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Oversight Committee .  Final Report (March 2006).  The full date of birth (DOB) is currently included for criminal cases, but only the month and year are displayed in other case types.

Policy on Disclosure of Public Information Over the Internet.  The Director of State Courts' Office has adopted a Policy on Disclosure of Public Information Over the Internet.