RULE 3.4. PRIVACY PROTECTION FOR FILINGS MADE WITH THE COURT
1 (a) Redacted Filings.
2 (1) In General. Unless the court orders otherwise, in an electronic or paper
3 filing with the court that contains an individual's social-security number,
4 taxpayer-identification number, or birth date, the name of an individual known to
5 be a minor, a financial-account number, a party or nonparty making the filing must
6 include only:
7 (A) the last four digits of the social-security number and
8 taxpayer-identification number;
9 (B) the year of the individual's birth;
10 (C) the minor's initials; and
11 (D) the last four digits of the financial-account number.
12 (2) Victim Information. If a victim requests, all victim contact information
13 must be redacted from documents to be filed with the court in a criminal or
14 delinquency case.
15 (3) Property and Debt Listing. The property and debt listing of the parties to
16 a divorce that is filed with the court or included in a judgment for divorce is
17 confidential and must be redacted.
18 (b) Responsibility of Party or Nonparty to Redact. A party or nonparty
19 making a filing with the court is solely responsible for ensuring that protected
20 information does not appear on the filing.
21 (c) Exemptions from the Redaction Requirement.
22 The redaction requirement does not apply to the following:
23 (1) a financial-account number or real property address that identifies the
24 property allegedly subject to forfeiture in a forfeiture proceeding;
25 (2) the record of an administrative or agency proceeding;
26 (3) the record of a court or tribunal, if that record was not subject to the
27 redaction requirement when originally filed;
28 (4) a filing covered by Rule 3.4 (d);
29 (5) a court filing that is related to a criminal matter and that is prepared
30 before the filing of a criminal charge or is not filed as part of any docketed
31 criminal case;
32 (6) an arrest or search warrant;
33 (7) a charging document and an affidavit filed in support of a charging
35 (8) the name of an individual known to be a minor when the minor is a
36 party, and there is no statute, regulation or rule mandating nondisclosure; and
37 (9) a defendant's date of birth in a court filing that is related to criminal
38 matters, non-criminal motor vehicle and game and fish matters, and infractions.
39 (d) Filings Made Under Seal. The court may order that a filing be made
40 under seal without redaction. The court may later unseal the filing or order the
41 person who made the filing to file a redacted version for the public record.
42 (e) Protective Orders. For good cause, the court may by order in a case:
43 (1) require redaction of additional information; or
44 (2) limit or prohibit a nonparty's remote electronic access to a document
45 filed with the court.
46 (f) Filing a Confidential Information Form.
47 (1) In General. A filing that contains redacted information must be filed
48 together with a confidential information form (shown in Appendix H) that
49 identifies each item of redacted information and specifies an appropriate identifier
50 that uniquely corresponds to each item listed. The form will be confidential except
51 as to the parties or as the court may direct. Any reference in the case to a listed
52 identifier will be construed to refer to the corresponding item of information.
53 (2) Defendant Information. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must file a
54 confidential information form that includes, when known, the defendant's social
55 security number.
56 (g) Non-conforming Documents.
57 (1) Waiver. A person waives the protection of Rule 3.4 (a) as to the person's
58 own information by filing it without redaction and not under seal.
59 (2) Sanctions. If a party fails to comply with this rule, the court on motion
60 of another party or its own motion, may order the pleading or other document to be
61 returned to the party for reformation prior to filing, with an extension of any
62 deadline to complete the filing. If the document has been filed, and an order to
63 reform is not obeyed, the court may order the document stricken.
64 EXPLANATORY NOTE
65 Rule 3.4 was adopted effective March 1, 2009. Rule 3.4 was amended,
66 effective March 15, 2009; March 1, 2010; May 1, 2017; _________________.
67 Parties should limit the amount of protected information they include in
68 court filings. This rule requires parties to redact protected information when its
69 inclusion in a filing cannot be avoided.
70 This rule's redaction requirements are intended to exclude protected
71 information from public disclosure. Unless a document is also placed in a
72 non-restricted file, redaction of documents filed in cases that are confidential by
73 law or rule is not required.
74 The term "financial-account number" includes any credit, debit or electronic
75 fund transfer card numbers, and any other financial account number.
76 Documents containing redacted protected information must be filed
77 together with a confidential information form under subdivision (f) when a party is
78 required by statute, policy or rule to include the protected information in the
79 document. For example, N.D.C.C. § 14-05-02.1 requires a divorce decree to
80 contain the social security numbers of the parties to the divorce. Under subdivision
81 (f), a party to a divorce case may comply with this statute and the redaction
82 requirements of this rule by filing a confidential information form and a redacted
83 version of the decree in the public part of the file.
84 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2010, to eliminate the
85 requirement to redact addresses in criminal matters.
86 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective May 1, 2017, to require, upon
87 request of the victim, the redaction of all victim contact information from
88 documents before they may be filed with the court in a criminal or delinquency
89 case. This right is granted by N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(1)(e). "Victim" is defined in
90 N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25(4).
91 Subdivision (a) was amended, effective____________, to require the
92 redaction of the property and debt listing of the parties to a divorce that is filed
93 with the court or included in a judgment for divorce.
94 Subdivision (b) was adopted, effective March 1, 2010, to indicate it is the
95 responsibility of a party or nonparty making a court filing to refrain from including
96 protected information in the filing.
97 The clerk of court is not required to review a document filed with the court
98 for compliance with this rule.
99 Subdivision (c), formerly subdivision (b), was amended, effective March 1,
100 2010, to add a redaction exemption for the name of a minor when the minor is a
101 party and there is no statute, regulation or rule mandating nondisclosure of the
102 minor's name.
103 Subdivision (c), formerly subdivision (b), was amended, effective March 1,
104 2010, to add a redaction exemption for a defendant's date of birth in a court filing
105 that is related to criminal matters, non-criminal motor vehicle and game and fish
106 matters, and infractions.
107 Subdivision (f) was amended, effective March 1, 2010, to require that
108 state's attorneys file confidential information forms containing certain defendant
109 information when known.
110 Subdivision (g) was amended, effective March 1, 2010, to allow courts to
111 order reformation of documents not in conformity with this rule prior to filing.
112 Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of _____________; January
113 26-27, 2017, page 22; September 24-25, 2009, pages 3-7; May 21-22, 2009, pages
114 28-44; January 24, 2008, pages 9-12; October 11-12, 2007, pages 28-30; April
115 26-27, 2007, page 31.
116 Statutes Affected:
117 Considered: N.D. Const. Art. I, § 25; N.D.C.C. §§ 14-05-02.1, 14-05___.
118 Cross Reference: N.D.R.Ct. 3.1 (Pleadings); N.D.Sup.Ct.Admin.R. 41
119 (Access to Judicial Records).