You should not include sensitive information in any document filed with the Court unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case. You must remember that any personal information not otherwise protected will be made available over the Internet via WebPACER. If sensitive information must be included, the following personal data identifiers must be partially redacted from the pleading, whether it is filed traditionally or electronically:1
- Social Security numbers. If an individual's social security number must be included in a pleading, only the last four digits of that number should be used. (Civil & Criminal Cases)
- Names of minor children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, only the initials of that child should be used. (Civil & Criminal Cases)
Dates of birth. If an individual's date of birth must be included in a pleading, only the year should be used. (Civil & Criminal Cases)
Financial account numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of these numbers should be used. (Civil & Criminal Cases)
Home addresses. If a home address must be included, only the city and state should be listed. (Criminal Cases only)
In compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002, a party wanting to file a document containing the personal data identifiers listed above may file an unredacted document under seal. This document shall be retained by the Court as part of the record. The Court may, however, still require the party to file a redacted copy for the public file.
In addition, exercise caution when filing documents that contain the following:
- personal identifying number, such as a driver's license number
- medical records, treatment and diagnosis
- employment history
- individual financial information
- proprietary or trade secret information
Counsel is strongly urged to share this notice with all clients so that an informed decision about the inclusion, redaction and/or exclusion of certain materials may be made. It is the sole responsibility of counsel and the parties to be sure that all pleadings comply with the rules of this Court requiring redaction of personal identifiers. The Clerk will not review each pleading for compliance with this rule.
In the event anything above conflicts with the Local Rules, the Local Rules shall control.
For complete information on current judicial branch privacy, see the U.S. Courts website at: http://www.privacy.uscourts.gov/
1 This redaction requirement does not extend to documents exempted from redaction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2 and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 49.1.