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June 15, 2009

From: Susan Hazel, Clerk of Courts

To:  Those filing court documents

Re:   Court Records

Updates to the Rules of Superintendence for Public Access of Court Records are scheduled to go into effect on July 1st, 2009.  These updates will require that the party filing any documents with the court omit certain information.

Rules 44 through 47 speak to the definition of court records, various types of public access, restrictions involved in the public viewing of documents, as well as requesting and obtaining records.  Rule 45 (D) addresses the omission of personal identifiers prior to submission of filing a case.  This rule states it is the responsibility of the filing party to omit personal identifiers from case information.  Pursuant to Rule 44(D), “personal identifiers” means social security numbers, except for the last four digits; financial account numbers, including but not limited to debit card, charge card, and credit card numbers; employer and employee identification numbers; and a juvenile’s name in an abuse, neglect, or dependency case, except for the juvenile’s initials or generic abbreviation such as “CV” for “child victim.”  The Clerk of Courts is not required to review the case document to confirm the omission nor shall the Clerk refuse to accept or file a document on this basis.

With your cooperation, we will be able to meet the Court’s responsibility to the public when providing open records while protecting the private information of those individuals involved.