REDACTIONResponsibility for Redaction
Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037 governs the privacy and security of information filed with the Court. With the exception of transcripts, redaction is the responsibility of the person filing documents to remove/redact personal identifiers in order to limit access to the information filed with the Court.Specifically, the filer must limit the information to the following:
2. Year of the individual’s birth;
3. Minor’s initials; and
4. Last four digits of the financial account number, except the redaction requirement does not apply to the following:
b. The record of an administrative or agency proceeding unless filed with a proof of claim;
c. The official record of a state-court proceeding;
d. The record of a court or tribunal, if that record was not subject to the redaction requirement when originally filed;
e. A filing covered by subdivision (c) of this rule; and
f. A filing that is subject to §110 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
As the official, “keeper of the record” entrusted with maintaining the integrity of the bankruptcy files for the Court, the Clerk’s office may not make changes to a document filed with the Court. 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. (See Guide to Judiciary Policy (Vol 10 c. 3 §325.80))
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 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. Specific information regarding the redaction and transcript policy may be found here.
Request for Redaction
Unless other arrangements are made with the Court, all requests must:
1. be made by motion;
2. identify each of the affected cases;
3. identify the information to be redacted;
4. include a redacted pdf document, attached to the motion, (if allowed, the Court will replace the current document with the redacted version);
5. include a certificate of service; and
6. a fee of $25.00 for each requested redaction;
7. the motion must be served on the debtor, any individual whose personal identifiers have been exposed, the case trustee (if any), and the U.S. trustee.
Identifying the Records
If a party is seeking to locate affected records for redaction, you may refer the party to 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.
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.
Note: According to the Guide to Judiciary Policy, a court should not typically reopen a case solely to address a request to redact personal identifiers from the case record. Generally, the act of redacting the record is ministerial in nature and does not impact the administration of the estate. Still, the decision to reopen the case remains with the Judge. There is no charge for reopening a case for the sole purpose of redaction.
Service is Required
As noted above, the requesting party must promptly serve the motion on the debtor, any individual whose personal identifiers have been exposed, the case trustee (if any), and the U.S. trustee. Requiring service of the request is consistent with Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9013 and the general prohibition against ex parte communication under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9003.
As of December 1, 2014, the fee is $25 per affected case and is applicable to both open and closed cases. For example, if a creditor files an omnibus motion requesting to redact records in fifty cases, the total fee would be $1,250. (Under appropriate circumstances, the fee may be waived by the Court.)