Practitioners in the New York Supreme and County Courts beware: mandatory redaction rules take effect on March 1. Based upon an administrative order, dated November 6, 2014, it will be required for counsel and unrepresented parties to omit or redact confidential personal information (“CPI”) in filings made in most cases.
These requirements are in place to both protect from identity theft, particularly as New York Courts increasingly move toward mandatory e-filing, and to reduce the burden later when cases are on appeal and subject to the Court of Appeals’ mandatory redaction rules.
Pursuant to the new order, “CPI” is defined in Uniform Civil Rules of the Supreme and County Courts § 202.5(e) as:
i. the taxpayer identification number of an individual or an entity, including a social security number, employer identification number, and an individual taxpayer identification number, except the last four digits thereof;
ii. the date of an individual’s birth, except the year thereof;
iii. the full name of an individual known to be a minor, except the minor’s initials;
iv. a financial account number, including a credit and/or debit card number, a bank account number, an investment account number and/or an insurance account number, except the last four digits or letters thereof.
Papers excluded from this requirement include those filed in matrimonial actions, Surrogate’s Court matters, mental hygiene law matters pursuant to article 81 and those otherwise designated by rule, law or Court order.
Where papers are filed without complying with the above, the Court may sua sponte or on motion order a party to remove the CPI and resubmit the papers, or may order the clerk to seal portions of the papers. Where a party has a good faith belief that the full information is necessary and material to the adjudication of a proceeding, he may seek leave to file a confidential affidavit or affirmation containing the full versions and cross-referencing the abbreviated forms in the papers. There is also a procedure in place for consumer credit actions wherein the defendant denies responsibility for an account for which only the last four digits have been displayed in the filings because of this rule.
These procedures have been in place for January and February 2015 on a voluntary basis. With the upcoming mandate for all parties to comply, it is imperative for practitioners to familiarize themselves with these requirements.
Here is a link to another article on the subject, published in The New York Times on November 14, 2014: OCA Orders Redactions in Filings to Curb Identity Theft.
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