The amended Illinois Supreme Court Rule 138 makes significant changes to the disclosure of sensitive information through electronic filings for minors as well as adults. Starting July 1, 2013, social security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account numbers and debit and credit card numbers will be excluded from documents and exhibits in civil cases. With the new 2014 calendar year comes significant changes as it relates to the disclosure of birth dates and names of minor children. Starting January 1, 2014, all birth dates and the names of minor children must be excluded from documents in civil cases.
The idea behind the new amended rule is to protect the clients from having their personal identity information becoming public record and at risk for identity theft. So what does this mean for attorneys? Attorneys must be sure to redact the specific personal information from their pleadings or file a Notice of Personal Identity Information Within Court Filing.
Attorneys may file redacted filings of personal information of the client. A redacted filing of personal information for the public records is permissible. For example, the following are allowed and are not in violation of Rule 138:
1. the last four digits of the individuals social security number
2. the year of the individual’s date of birth
3. the minors initials
4. the last four of the driver’s license number
5. the last four of the financial account number
6. the last four digits of the debit and credit card number.
If the filing of personal identity information in its entirety is required by law or ordered by the Court, or other necessary to effect disposition of a matter, the filing must be accompanied by a form titled “Notice of Personal Identity Information Within Court Filing.” In this instance, all documents will be filed under seal and remain confidential except to the parties, the court and the clerk or as the court may order.
Attorneys must be diligent in following the new amended Rule 138 or risk facing sanctions. While clients can be a little more at ease knowing their personal information is not available for all to see.