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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: November 20, 2014

Trial Court Rules Amended to Clarify Requirements for Redaction of Confidential Personal Information

On November 6, 2014, the Chief Administrative Judge signed an order adding subdivision (e) to Rule 202.5. the new rule clarifies counsel’s obligation to redact confidential personal information from court filings. The new rule provides:

(e) Omission or Redaction of Confidential Personal Information.
(1) Except in a matrimonial action, or a proceeding in surrogate’s court, or a proceeding pursuant to article 81 of the mental hygiene law, or as otherwise provided by rule or law or court order, and whether or not a sealing order is or has been sought, the parties shall omit or redact confidential personal information in papers submitted to the court for filing. For purposes of this rule, confidential personal information (“CPI”) means:
i. the taxpayer identification number of an individual or an entity, including a social security number, an 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; and
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.
(2) The court sua sponte or on motion by any person may order a party to remove CPI from papers or to resubmit a paper with such information redacted; order the clerk to seal the papers or a portion thereof containing CPI in accordance with the requirement of 22NYCRR §216.1 that any sealing be no broader than necessary to protect the CPI; for good cause permit the inclusion of CPI in papers; order a party to file an unredacted copy under seal for in camera review; or determine that information in a particular action is not confidential. The court shall consider the pro se status of any party in granting relief pursuant to this provision.
(3) Where a person submitting a paper to a court for filing believes in good faith that the inclusion of the full confidential personal information described in subparagraphs (i) to (iv) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision is material and necessary to the adjudication of the action or proceeding before the court, he or she may apply to the court for leave to serve and file together with a paper in which such information has been set forth in abbreviated form a confidential affidavit or affirmation setting forth the same information in unabbreviated form, appropriately referenced to the page or pages of the paper at which the abbreviated form appears.
(4) The redaction requirement does not apply to the last four digits of the relevant account numbers, if any, in an action arising out of a consumer credit transaction, as defined in subdivision (f) of section one hundred five of the civil practice law and rules. In the event the defendant appears in such an action and denies responsibility for the identified account, the plaintiff may without leave of court amend his or her pleading to add full account or CPI by (i) submitting such amended paper to the court on written notice to defendant for in camera review or (ii) filing such full account or other CPI under seal in accordance with rules promulgated by the chief administrator of the courts.

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