What are the Rules for Filing “Confidential Information” in the Court File in Florida?
As of July 1, 2021, all filers of documents in a case are responsible for redacting or identifying for redaction all court documents filed in circuit civil, county civil and small claims in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit pursuant to amended Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420.
In this regard, if any document filed with the clerk of court contains a social security number, bank account or other non-public information, filers must either (1) redact the information before filing; or (2) file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality or Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing. This allows the unredacted document to be filed and made part of the court record.
When filing a Motion to Determine Confidentiality or Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing, the filer must list all the page number(s) and preferably the location within the page, i.e., paragraph number and line, where the information is redacted. The Clerk will then review the redactions.
If the redactions fall within one of the 23 categories listed in 2.420 (d)(1)(B)(i)-(xxiii), the Clerk will make the redactions in the document. If the redactions do not fall within any of the 23 categories, the Clerk will notify you via mail within 5 days that the document will not be redacted. The document will then remain sealed for another 10 days in which the filer will need to file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality and obtain a court order from the assigned judge to have the document sealed or redacted. If a Motion to Determine Confidentiality is filed, the Clerk will hold the document confidential pending a court order. If no motion is filed, the document will become public.
The following 23 categories of information are considered “Confidential Information” pursuant to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(c) and 2.420 (d)(1)(B)(i)-(xxiii):
- Records relating to dependency matters, termination of parental rights, guardians ad litem, child abuse, neglect, and abandonment.
- Adoption records.
- Social Security, bank account, charge, debit, and credit card numbers.
- HIV test results and the identity of any person upon whom an HIV test has been performed.
- Records, including test results, held by the Department of Health or its authorized representatives relating to sexually transmitted diseases.
- Birth records and portions of death and fetal death records.
- Information that can be used to identify a minor petitioning for a waiver of parental or guardian notice or consent when seeking to terminate pregnancy.
- Clinical records under the Baker Act, and all petitions, court orders and related records under the Baker Act, including all personal identifying information of a person subject to the Act.
- Records of substance abuse service providers which pertain to the identity, diagnosis, and prognosis of and service provision to individuals, all petitions, court orders, and related records for involuntary assessment and stabilization of an individual.
- Clinical records of criminal defendants found incompetent to proceed or acquitted by reason of insanity.
- Estate inventories and accountings.
- The victim’s address in a domestic violence action on petitioner’s record.
- Protected information regarding victims of child abuse or sexual offenses.
- Gastational surrogacy records.
- Guardianship reports, orders appointing court monitors, and orders relating to findings of no probable cause in guardianship cases.
- Grand jury records.
- Records acquired by courts and law enforcement regarding family services for children.
- Juvenile delinquency records.
- Records disclosing the identity of person subject to tuberculosis proceedings and records held by the Department of Health or its authorized representatives relating to the known or suspected cases of tuberculosis or exposure to tuberculosis.
- Complete presentence investigation reports.
- Forensic behavioral health evaluations under Chapter 916.
- Eligibility screening, substance abuse screening, behavioral health evaluations, and treatment status reports for defendants referred to or considered for referral to a drug court program.
- Information that can be used to identify a petitioner or respondent in a petition for an injunction against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, stalking, or cyber stalking, and any affidavits, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction until the respondent has been personally served with a copy of the petition for injunction, affidavits, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction.
You can find a form Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing and Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Record Court on the Clerk’s website at https://www.mypalmbeachclerk.com/about-us/news/changes-coming-to-redaction-of-confidential-information.
If you need any assistance in a case involving the filing of confidential information in a particular case, contact the attorneys at Rabin Kammerer Johnson at 561-659-7878 or find us on the web at www.RKJlawgroup.com.