New Procedures To Protect Confidentiality of Court Records Start Oct. 1, 2010

On March 18, 2010, the Florida Supreme Court enacted substantial amendments to Florida Rules of Judicial Administration 2.420, which governs public access to court records.  These changes go into effect on October 1, 2010.

The new rule places the burden on the attorney to designate records as confidential at the time they are filed with the Court.  Nineteen types of records are considered presumptively privileged:
(i) Chapter 39 records relating to dependency matters, termination of parental rights, guardians ad litem, child abuse, neglect, and abandonment. § 39.0132(3), Fla. Stat.
(ii) Adoption records. § 63.162, Fla. Stat.
(iii) Social Security, bank account, charge, debit, and credit card numbers in court records. § 119.0714(1)(i)–(j), (2)(a)-(e), Fla. Stat. (Unless redaction is requested pursuant to 119.0714(2), this information is exempt only as of January 1, 2011.)
(iv) HIV test results and patient identity within those test results. § 381.004(3)(e), Fla. Stat.
(v) Sexually transmitted diseases – test results and identity within the test results when provided by the Department of Health or the department‘s authorized representative. § 384.29, Fla. Stat.
(vi) Birth and death certificates, including court-issued delayed birth certificates and fetal death certificates. §§ 382.008(6), 382.025(1)(a), Fla. Stat.
(vii) Identifying information in a petition by a minor for waiver of parental notice when seeking to terminate pregnancy. § 390.01116, Fla. Stat.
(viii) Identifying information in clinical mental health records under the Baker Act. § 394.4615(7), Fla. Stat.
(ix) Records of substance abuse service providers which pertain to the identity, diagnosis, and prognosis of and service provision to individuals who have received services from substance abuse service providers. § 397.501(7), Fla. Stat.
(x) Identifying information in clinical records of detained criminal defendants found incompetent to proceed or acquitted by reason of insanity. § 916.107(8), Fla. Stat.
(xi) Estate inventories and accountings. § 733.604(1), Fla. Stat.
(xii) The victim‘s address in a domestic violence action on petitioner‘s request. § 741.30(3)(b), Fla. Stat.
(xiii) Information identifying victims of sexual offenses, including child sexual abuse. §§ 119.071(2)(h), 119.0714(1)(h), Fla. Stat.
(xiv) Gestational surrogacy records. § 742.16(9), Fla. Stat.
(xv) Guardianship reports and orders appointing court monitors in guardianship cases. §§ 744.1076, 744.3701, Fla. Stat.
(xvi) Grand jury records. Ch. 905, Fla. Stat.
(xvii) Information acquired by courts and law enforcement regarding family services for children. § 984.06(3)-(4), Fla. Stat.
(xviii) Juvenile delinquency records. §§ 985.04(1), 985.045(2), Fla. Stat.
(xix) Information disclosing the identity of persons subject to tuberculosis proceedings and records of the Department of Health in suspected tuberculosis cases. §§ 392.545, 392.65, Fla. Stat.
If an attorney believes information should be kept confidential, but is not within the 19 specifically identified areas, a motion must be made to the Court seeking to have such records designated as confidential.
In support of the changes to Rule 2.420, the Florida Supreme Court amended Rules 9.040 and 9.100 of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, which have been updated to reflect the amendments.
These new procedures go into effect on October 1, 2010.  Further coverage can be found in the Florida Bar News.
Amended Rules:

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  1. Pingback: New Rules for Service of Pleadings and Documents by E-mail | Florida Rules Decisions Reporter

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