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Privacy Policy & Redaction Requirements

RESPONSIBILITY FOR REDACTION


Bankruptcy cases and related adversary proceedings are public records. Certain personally identifiable information, commonly referred to as PII, must be redacted from documents before they are filed per Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037. When you redact PII, you are removing part of the information from your document so that it cannot be used to steal your identity or the identity of others.

As the document filer, you are solely responsible for ensuring that PII is redacted. The Clerk’s Office may NOT redact PII for you.  Additionally, the Court is NOT responsible for monitoring the disclosure of personal identifiers, nor should anyone assume that the Court will monitor the docket or documents for these identifiers.

 

REDACTION EXAMPLES


PII that must be redacted includes social security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, financial account numbers, birthdates, and the names of minor children.  Here is an example of how PII can be redacted from a document:

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Redaction Example
Social Security Number (SSN) Use only the last four digits
Example: XXX-XX-1234
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Use only the last four digits
Example: XXX-XX-1234
Financial Account Number Use only the last four digits
Example: XXXXXX1234
Birthdate Use only the year of birth
Example: XX/XX/1983
Name of a Minor Child Use only the child’s initials
Example: “J.D.”

The Court may require redaction of additional information or may limit or prohibit a nonparty’s remote electronic access to a document filed with the court under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037(d).  Please review Rule 9037 for more information.

 

EXEMPTIONS


The redaction requirement does NOT apply to the following pursuant to subsection (b) of Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037:

  1. Financial-account number that identifies the property allegedly subject to forfeiture in a forfeiture proceeding;
  2. The record of an administrative or agency proceeding unless filed with a proof of claim;
  3. The official record of a state-court proceeding;
  4. The record of a court or tribunal, if that record was not subject to the redaction requirement when originally filed;
  5. A filing covered by subdivision (c) of this rule concerning filings made under seal; and
  6. A filing that is subject to §110 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

 

EXCEPTION – STATEMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (FORM B 121)


Debtors filing bankruptcy without an attorney are required to provide a daytime telephone number and to submit a completed Statement of Social Security Number (Form B 121) with the Voluntary Petition. This document must contain the full Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number and will be retained by the Clerk’s Office as part of the case file. Note that this document is NOT made part of the public record.

Refer to the Filing Requirements page for more information about this form.

 

EXCEPTION – TRANSCRIPTS


Attorneys and pro se parties who attended the hearing are solely responsible for the redaction of the information in a transcript. Transcribers are NOT responsible for identifying a need for redaction or for redacting transcripts prior to filing, absent a request by an attorney or pro se party. The redaction procedures for transcripts (as well as the 90-day restriction policy) apply only to transcripts of federal courtroom proceedings. See Local Rule 5007-1 for more information.

 

TRANSCRIPT REDACTION POLICY (LOCAL RULE 5007-1)


See Local Rule 5007-1 for detailed information.

 

REQUEST FOR REDACTION OF A PREVIOUSLY FILED DOCUMENT


Unless other arrangements are made with the Court, Bankruptcy Rule 9037(h) applies if a document containing information in violation of Bankruptcy Rule 9037 happens to be filed. This section of the rule requires the following:

  1. File a Motion to Redact identifying the proposed redactions and pay the $25 per-case filing fee;
    1. ECF filers will use the Motion to Redact event. Failure to use this event will result in a Submission Error Notification.
  2. Attach to the motion (as a separate PDF attachment) the proposed redacted document;
  3. Include in the motion the docket or proof-of-claim number of the previously filed document to be redacted; and
  4. Serve the motion and attachment on the debtor, debtor’s attorney, trustee (if any), United States trustee, filer of the unredacted document, and any individual whose personal identifying information is to be redacted. A certificate of service MUST be included with your motion.

 

The Clerk’s Office will promptly restrict public access to the motion and the unredacted document pending the court’s ruling on the motion. If the court grants it, the court must docket the redacted document. The restrictions on public access to the motion and unredacted document remain in effect until a further court order. If the court denies the motion, the restrictions must be lifted, unless the court orders otherwise.

Note: Parties seeking to file their motion under seal should consult the Administrative Procedures for Filing, Signing, and Verifying Pleadings and Papers by Electronic Means authorized by and attached to Standing Order No. 11.

 

IDENTIFYING RECORDS FOR REDACTION


Parties seeking to locate affected records for redaction may contact the PACER Service Center, (800) 676-6856, for assistance. Upon request and after payment of the appropriate fee, the PACER Service Center can search and make copies of records to be redacted.

 

CLOSED CASES


Courts do not typically reopen cases solely to address a Motion to Redact PII from the case record. The decision to reopen the case, however, remains with the judge. If the judge directs the Clerk’s Office to open the case, the reopening fee does not apply if the reopening is for the sole purpose of redaction. The $25 per-case Motion to Redact fee DOES apply.

The service requirement still applies in closed cases. The debtor and any other affected individual should be served in case any identity theft concerns have arisen. Likewise, service on the U.S. trustee and the case trustee is important to ensure that the proposed redaction process is reviewed or monitored and that any objections are addressed.

 

MOTION TO REDACT FEE FAQ


Click HERE for more information about the redaction fee.

 

MOTION TO REDACT – CORRECTING MOTION FILING ERRORS


Electronic filers may NOT use the amended motion event to correct a deficient Motion to Redact; you must file a new Motion to Redact using the Motion to Redact event. The event will allow you to bypass the $25 fee if you are correcting a previously-filed Motion to Redact.

(The Motion to Redact event in CM/ECF causes certain members of the Clerk’s Office to be notified of the filing immediately via email.  The immediate notification allows the Clerk’s Office to follow Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037(h) which directs the prompt restriction of the motion and the unredacted document pending the court’s ruling on the motion.  If you errantly use the Amended Motion event to correct a deficient filing, then the subsequent restriction of that document will be delayed.)

 

TAX RETURNS


See Local Rule 4002-1 for information about how tax returns are treated for privacy purposes. See also the Guide to Judicial Policy, Volume 4, Chapter 8, Section 830 Guidance for Protection of Tax Information