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Information Regarding E-Government Act Privacy Requirements

The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama accepts electronically filed pleadings and makes the content of these pleadings available on the Court’s Internet website via WebPACER. Any subscriber to WebPACER can read, download, store and print the full content of electronically filed documents. The Clerk’s office will not make available documents that have been sealed or otherwise restricted by Court order.

Pursuant to Rule 9037 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, filers should not include sensitive information in any document filed with the Court unless such inclusion is necessary and relevant to the case. Personal information not otherwise protected will be made available over the Internet via WebPACER. If sensitive information must be included, the following personal data identifiers must be partially redacted from the pleading, whether it is filed traditionally or electronically:

  1. Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number. If an individual’s social security number or taxpayer identification number must be included in a pleading, use the last four digits of that number.
  2. Names of minor children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, use the child’s initials.
  3. Dates of birth. If an individual’s date of birth must be included in a pleading, use the year of birth only.
  4. Financial account numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, use the last four digits of the account(s).

In compliance with amendments to the E-Government Act of 2002, a party wishing to file a document containing the personal data identifiers listed above may:

  1. File an unredacted document under seal, and this document shall be retained by the Court as part of the record; or
  2. File a reference list under seal. The reference list shall contain the complete personal data identifier(s) and the redacted identifier(s) used in its (their) place in the filing. All references in the case to the redacted identifier(s) included in the reference list will be construed to refer to the corresponding complete identifier(s). The reference list must be filed under seal and may be amended as of right. It shall be retained by the Court as part of the record.

The Court may, however, require the party to file a redacted copy for the public file.

The responsibility for redacting these personal identifiers rests solely with counsel and the parties. The Clerk will not review each pleading for compliance with Rule 9037.