TO: Joint Procedure Committee
FROM: Mike Hagburg
DATE: September 12, 2011
RE: Rule 14, N.D.R.App.P.,Identity Protection
Justice Sandstrom has requested that the Committee consider an amendment to Rule 14 on identity protection. Subdivision (b) of this rule currently allows individuals falling into certain categories to request that their full names be replaced by initials in the electronic versions of the Supreme Court's opinions. Their names, however, remain in the opinions published in official reporters. This rule protects people from having old appellate opinions that mention their names (such as divorce opinions filed when they were children) from appearing in Internet searches of their names.
N.D.R.Ct. 3.4 requires redaction of full birthdates in documents submitted to the Court and the Court no longer includes full birthdates in its appellate opinions. Justice Sandstrom has requested that Rule 14 be amended to allow people to request redaction of their birthdates in the electronic version of appellate opinions, just like certain people can now request redaction of their names.
Staff has prepared proposed amendments to Rule 14 consistent with Justice Sandstrom's suggestions. A new paragraph (b)(2) would be added to the rule allowing people to request redaction of full birthdates and to have these replaced with month and year of birth. The word "may" is used in the proposed amendment to allow the Supreme Court discretion to retain the full birthdate when the Court decides the full date has independent legal significance.
The propose amendments to Rule 14 are attached.