Section 23 of the Electronic Filing Policies and Procedures Manual states:
The E-Government Act of 2002 and the Judicial Conference of the United States Courts' Policy on Privacy and Public Access to Electronic Case Files set forth rules and provide guidance to protect privacy and security concerns relating to the electronic filing of documents and the public availability of documents filed electronically. In accordance with the Act, the following Model Notice has been provided to Courts using the CM/ECF system:
The Office of the Clerk is now accepting electronically filed pleadings and making the content of these pleadings available on the Court's Internet website via WebPACER. Any subscriber to WebPACER will be able to read, download, store and print the full content of electronically filed documents. The Clerk's Office will not make electronically available documents that have been sealed or otherwise restricted by Court order.
Do not include sensitive information in any document filed with the Court unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case. 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:
- Social Security numbers,
- financial account numbers,
- dates of birth,
- names of minor children, and
- (in criminal cases only) home addresses.
In compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002, a party wishing to file a document containing the personal data identifiers specified above may:
- file a redacted document in the public record and file a reference list under seal. The reference list shall contain the complete personal data identifier(s) and the redacted identifier(s) used in its(their) place in the filing. All references in the case to the redacted identifiers included in the reference list will be construed to refer to the corresponding complete personal data identifier. The reference list must be filed under seal, and may be amended as of right, or
- file an unredacted version of the document under seal.
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 driver's license number;
- medical records, treatment and diagnosis;
- employment history;
- individual financial information; and
- proprietary or trade secret information.
Counsel are 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. If a redacted document is filed, it is the sole responsibility of counsel and the parties to be sure that all documents comply with the rules of this Court requiring redaction of personal data identifiers. The Clerk will not review each pleading for redaction.
The privacy provisions adopted by the Court are set forth under the General Rules of Pleading in LR 8.1 and LCrR 49.1.1.