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On January 21, 2021, the Florida Supreme Court issued Opinion 20-1765, which amended Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420 effective July 1, 2021. The opinion holds that 'in certain civil cases, the clerk of court does not have an independent responsibility to identify and designate information as confidential. Instead, that this the sole responsibility of the filer'. (emphasis added).
Thus, in Circuit Civil, County Civil and Small Claims cases (except those case types that are listed in the Viewable on Request in the Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records and Access Security Matrix), the Clerk will 'designate information or documents as confidential only when:
Filers are now solely responsible for ensuring that documents filed with the Clerk in Circuit Civil, County Civil and Small Claims cases do not contain confidential information. It is best to not include the information in the court filing. If, however, you need to include this information, or if the information is included as part of an exhibit, the filer is responsible for redacting the confidential information.
No. The rule change only affects circuit civil, county civil and small claims cases. The filer is still responsible to file the Notice or Motion in all other case types; however, the Clerk may still undertake its own redaction review. While computer software can pick up confidential numbers, it will NOT pick up victim names and other non-numeric confidential information. A signature of an attorney under Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.515(a)(4) constitutes a certificate by the attorney that the document contains no confidential or sensitive information, or that any such confidential or sensitive information has been properly protected by complying with the provisions of rules 2.420 and 2.425.
Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420(c) and 2.420 (d)(1)(B)(i)-(xxiii).
No. Confidential information must be redacted from the filing and is governed by Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420. Sensitive information must be minimized in a specific way and is governed by Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.425.
If you have confidential information that must be listed in the court filing so that the judge is able to view it, you must file a Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing, for one of the 23 categories, in the same efiling transaction as the confidential filing. You must list all the page number(s) where the information is located. You can also file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality if the confidential information is not one of the 23 categories.
No. The Clerk will only redact the information as described in the Notice. The rule requires that you list the precise location where the confidential information is located so the notice should include the page number – and preferably the location within the page – where the confidential information is located. This includes Exhibits.
The confidential information will be immediately available for public viewing.
Yes. If you forget to include the Notice with the filing, you can file it at a later time. The later filed Notice of Confidential Information must include the title and type of document that you are now seeking to make confidential, date of filing (if known), date of document, docket entry number, an indication whether the entire document is confidential or the precise location of the confidential information, and any other information the clerk may need to locate the confidential information. See Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(2)(A). Remember, until the Notice is filed, the information will be available for public viewing.
You must file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality. If it is not one of the 23 categories of documents listed in Rule of General Practice and Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(1)(B)(i)-(xxiii), then the Clerk cannot hold it confidential without a court order. Once a motion is filed, the Clerk will hold it confidential pending a court order.
The Clerk will send you a notification within 5 days of the filing of the document that it cannot hold the document confidential because it is not one of the 23 categories in Rule 2.420(d)(1)(B). The Clerk will hold the document confidential for 10 days in accordance with 2.420(d)(2)(B) so that the filer can file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality with the Court. If a motion is not filed within the 10 days, the document that includes the confidential information will become public. If a motion is filed, the Clerk will hold the document confidential pending a court order.
A form Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing and a form Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Record can be found as an appendix to Rule 2.420 and on the Clerk's website in the Forms Library and on the Attorneys page under 'Forms'.