Bucks Writs - Winter 2018 - 16

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Pennsylvania's New
Public Access Policy
for Appellate and Trial
Court Case Records:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- by Theresa Martin Golding, Esquire -

ATTORNEYS BEWARE! Sweeping changes have
gone into effect in Pennsylvania that broaden the public's
ability to gain access to court documents and, concurrently, require litigants and their attorneys to redact a
broad range of confidential information from documents
filed with the courts. Failure to properly redact in
conformance with the new policy can result in parties and
their attorneys being sanctioned by the courts.
Public Access Policy
The new Public Access Policy, found at 204 Pa. Code
ยง 213.81 (the "Policy"), went into effect on January 6,
2018. The goal of the Policy is to balance the right of the
public to access certain records with the protection of
the confidential information that is often found in those
records. The Policy will make access to public records
uniform throughout the Commonwealth and will cap
reproduction charges for those records at $0.25 per page.
The new requirements of the Policy for redaction and
protection of confidential information put additional
burdens on parties and their attorneys to safeguard confidential information in filed documents.

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What is Confidential Information?
Under the Policy, the following types of information are
classified as "confidential" and can no longer be included
in public court filings:
* Social Security Numbers
* Financial Account Numbers (includes financial
institution account numbers, debit and credit card
numbers, and methods of authentication used to
secure accounts such as personal identification
numbers, user names and passwords)
* Driver License Numbers
* State Identification Numbers
* Minor's Names and Dates of Birth
* Abuse Victim's Address and Other Contact Information
(including employer's name, address and work
schedule of victim)

How to Protect the Confidential Information
If confidential information is essential to your pleading,
you will need to redact it using one of two methods
- completing the Confidential Information Form or
preparing duplicate redacted/unredacted versions of the
pleading as explained below. Each county in Pennsylvania
will choose which method is the acceptable method for
filing in that county.



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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
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