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Rule 21c. Privacy Protection for Filed Documents (2014)


(a) Sensitive Data Defined. Sensitive data consists of:

(1) a driver's license number, passport number, social security number, tax identification number, or similar government-issued personal identification number;
(2) a bank account number, credit card number, or other financial account number; and
(3) a birth date, home address, and the name of any person who was a minor when the underlying suit was filed.
(b) Filing of Documents Containing Sensitive Data Prohibited. Unless the inclusion of sensitive data is specifically required by a statute, court rule, or administrative regulation, an electronic or paper document, except for wills and documents filed under seal, containing sensitive data may not be filed with a court unless the sensitive data is redacted.

(c) Redaction of Sensitive Data; Retention Requirement. Sensitive data must be redacted by using the letter "X" in place of each omitted digit or character or by removing the sensitive data in a manner indicating that the data has been redacted. The filing party must retain an unredacted version of the filed document during the pendency of the case and any related appellate proceedings filed within six months of the date the judgment is signed.

(d) Notice to Clerk. If a document must contain sensitive data, the filing party must notify the clerk by:

(1) designating the document as containing sensitive data when the document is electronically filed; or
(2) if the document is not electronically filed, by including, on the upper left-hand side of the first page, the phrase: "NOTICE: THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS SENSITIVE DATA."
(e) Non-Conforming Documents. The clerk may not refuse to file a document that contains sensitive data in violation of this rule. But the clerk may identify the error to be corrected and state a deadline for the party to resubmit a redacted, substitute document.

(f) Restriction on Remote Access. Documents that contain sensitive data in violation of this rule must not be posted on the Internet.

Added by order of Dec. 13, 2013, eff. Jan. 1, 2014.

Comment to 2013 Change: Rule 21c is added to provide privacy protection for documents filed in civil cases.
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