§ 6-1521. Protection of personal and financial information in civil court records.

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§ 6-1521. Protection of personal and financial information in civil court records.

   The following privacy rules shall apply to all pleadings, documents, exhibits, court orders, judgments, and decrees filed in all civil actions in the district courts of Nebraska:

   (A) This rule seeks to prevent birth dates, Social Security numbers, and financial account numbers of all persons, including minor children, from being included in court records generally available to the public.

   (B) The personal and financial information identified in § 6-1521(A) shall be set forth in a separate document as set forth in Appendix 3 to these rules. Such separate document shall be submitted in either electronic form or paper form. If the document is submitted in paper form, it shall contain, at the top of the first page, the following language, in bold type: This document is confidential and shall not be made part of the court file or provided to the public pursuant to Neb. Ct. R. § 6-1521. The clerk of the court shall keep the document separate from the case file but accessible to judges and court staff. If the document is submitted in electronic form, or converted from paper form to electronic form, the electronic document or the data contained therein may be reproduced or stored in JUSTICE or other court case and financial management system and the paper form shall not be submitted. Such electronic document, image, or data shall be electronically marked and shall not be accessible or viewable by the public, except as expressly authorized by written court order. Otherwise, access to such electronic documents, images, or data by governmental agencies and officials shall be implemented by agency agreements approved by the Nebraska Supreme Court. Application for access to such electronic document, image, or data by government agencies and officials shall be made by such agency or official on the form provided at Appendix 4 and submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Deputy State Court Administrator for Information Technology, and shall set forth statutory citation(s) or other express authority authorizing the agency or official such access to personal and financial information as identified in § 6-1521(A) and/or information as contained on the Appendix 3 document.. The Appendix 3 information shall be provided to the child support division of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, but shall not otherwise be made available without further court order. The form in Appendix 3 may be used in any civil case and shall be protected as stated above.

   (C) The personal and financial information identified in § 6-1521(A) shall not be included in any pleading or document submitted by a party or counsel for filing with the court, except by reference to a separate Appendix 3 document. An Appendix 3 document shall be separately tendered with any such pleading or other document, and if the Appendix 3 document is submitted in electronic form, it shall be identified in the filing transmittal as a confidential Appendix 3 submission. The form in Appendix 3 is mandatory with respect to the information identified in § 6-1521(A), but a party, attorney, or court may include in the Appendix 3 form additional personal or financial information sought to be protected. 

   (D) The personal and financial information identified in § 6-1521(A) shall not be included in any court order, judgment, or decree, including, but not limited to, any decree of dissolution of marriage, decree of legal separation, order of paternity, qualified domestic relations order, or other child support order or order of modification, except by reference to a separate Appendix 3 document. Where the court finds that an order, judgment, or decree must contain Social Security numbers or other personal information stated in § 6-1521(A), the court shall have the original order sealed and provide in the case file a redacted version of the order for public view.

   (E) No exhibit used at trial shall contain a complete account number for any financial accounts or debts of any party. The same shall be redacted by the person offering the exhibit to the extent necessary to protect the information from misuse. By agreement of the parties, or as directed by the court, financial account information shall be identified in all pleadings, other documents and court orders, judgments, or decrees in such a manner as the parties, counsel, court, and jury may be able to distinguish information between similar accounts or debts, or as may be necessary to establish relevance to the matter being litigated.

   (F) The name, birth date, gender, and Social Security number information of parties sought to be protected by this rule may be furnished to the clerk of the court by the parties prior to issuance of any order or decree. This information shall be furnished in electronic form through the e-filing application or by submitting the form provided in Appendix 3. Protection of this information shall be as set forth in § 6-1521(B). Where a party or counsel is required by statute or rule to furnish information identified in § 6-1521(A) to a court or clerk of the court but such information is not required to be filed, the clerk of the court shall not place such information in the court file or allow such information to be accessible, either in paper or electronic form, to the public.

   (G) The responsibility for redacting personal and financial data set forth in § 6-1521(A) rests solely with counsel and the parties. The clerk of the court shall not be required to review documents for compliance with this rule. If a clerk of the court identifies a violation of this rule, the clerk may, at his or her option, provide a redacted document for public access. However, the clerk electing to provide a redacted copy for public access shall maintain the original document without any alterations thereof, which document shall only be available to the court and the parties or the parties' counsel.

Rule 21 adopted April 16, 2008. Renumbered and codified as § 6-1521, effective July 18, 2008; § 16-1521(B) and (F) amended January 27, 2010; § 6-1521(B) amended May 16, 2012.