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Spring 2013
d&G Lawyer News

  • Q & A – Filing Confidential Information
  • Q: What is a "Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing?"

    A: Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(2) requires persons filing a document containing information specified as confidential under Rule 2.420(d)(1)(B) to file a “Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing.” The introduction of this notice was part of a major overhaul of the rule, which became effective in October 2010. See In re: Amendments to Florida R. Jud. Admin. 2.420, etc., 31 So. 3d 756 (Fla. 2010). This overhaul changed the way confidential information is handled both in court records and by judges.

    Q: How do I know what information is "confidential?"

    A: Rule 2.420(d)(1)(B) lists 19 specific items that "shall be maintained as confidential" in court records, from Social Security and bank account numbers to juvenile delinquency and grand jury records. The rule clearly defines protecting confidential information as the filer’s burden, and filing lawyers must determine prior to filing whether any of the 19 exemptions are applicable. If the answer is yes, the lawyer must file a Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filings.

    Q: What about information that seems sensitive, but is not listed in the rule? A: Lawyers must scrutinize every filing for potentially confidential information that does not fit into one of the 19 exemption categories. If a lawyer believes a filing contains such information, he/she should file a “Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records.” See Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.420(d)(3).

    Q: What about third parties' information?

    A: If any confidential information in a filing is concerning an “affected nonparty,” that party must be served with the notice of the filing of the confidential information with the court. See Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.420(d)(4).

    Q: This sounds complicated. Can't I just let the court worry about it?

    A: No. Rule 2.420(e)(6) provides that failure to comply with any of the above subjects the offending attorney to sanctions.

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