Public Access to Documents in Electronic Case Files

Documents filed in Civil and Criminal cases are available to the public on PACER electronically, except for Social Security documents which are not available.

Sensitive information should not be included in any documents filed with the court unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case. Any personal information not otherwise protected will be made available over the Internet via WebPACER. In order to promote electronic access to the documents in the record while also protecting personal privacy and other legitimate interests, parties shall refrain from including, or shall partially redact where inclusion is necessary, the following personal data identifiers from all documents filed with the court, including exhibits thereto, whether filed electronically or in paper, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

  1. Social Security Numbers. If an individual's Social Security number must be included, only the last four digits of that number should be used.

  2. Names of Minor Children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, only the initials of the child should be used.

  3. Dates of Birth. If an individual's date of birth must be included, only the year should be used.

  4. Financial Account Numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of the number should be used.

  5. Home Address in Criminal Cases Only. If a home address must be included, only the city and state should be listed.

  6. Juror Information. If a document containing identifying information about a juror or potential juror must be filed (e.g., verdit form or indictment), all personal information identifying a juror or potential juror must be redacted.

In compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002, any party filing a document with the court which contains personal data identifiers specified above may (a) submit it as an unredacted document under seal which will be retained by the court as part of the record or (b) submit it as a reference list under seal which contains the complete personal data identifier(s) and the redacted identifier(s) used in its (their) place in the document. All references in the case to redacted identifiers included in the reference list will be construed to refer to the corresponding complete identifier. The reference list must be submitted under seal, and may be amended as of right. It will be retained by the court as part of the record. The court may, however, still require the party to submit a redacted copy for the public file.

In addition, exercise caution when filing documents that contain the following:

  1. a personal identifying number, such as driver’s license number;
  2. medical records, treatment and diagnosis;
  3. an employment history;
  4. individual financial information;
  5. proprietary or trade secret information;
  6. information regarding an individual’s cooperation with the government;
  7. information regarding the victim of any criminal activity;
  8. national security information; and
  9. sensitive security information as described in 49 U.S.C. § 114 (s).

Because of the security and law enforcement issues unique to criminal case information, some specific criminal documents will not be available to the public remotely or at the courthouse.

Until the court has ruled on a motion to seal, no document that is the subject of a motion to seal, nor the motion itself or any response thereto, will be available electronically or in paper form.

Counsel is strongly urged to share this notice with all clients so that an informed decision about the inclusion of certain information may be made. It is the sole responsibility of counsel and the parties to be sure that all documents comply with the rules of this court requiring redaction of personal data identifiers. The Clerk’s Office will not review documents for compliance with this requirement.