Redaction Requirements and Sealed Documents

Redaction Requirements (Civil Cases) – Local Rule of Civil Procedure 5.1.3
As documents in civil cases are publicly viewable (unless filed under seal), personal identifiers such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, financial account numbers and names of minor children must be modified or partially redacted in all documents filed electronically or in paper.

The responsibility for redacting these personal identifiers rests solely with counsel and the parties.

Redaction Requirements (Criminal Cases) – Local Rule of Criminal Procedure 53.2
Parties shall refrain from including, or shall partially redact where inclusion is necessary, the following personal data identifiers from all documents filed with the court, including exhibits thereto, whether filed electronically or in paper format, unless otherwise ordered by the court:
      (1) Social Security Numbers. If an individual’s Social Security number must be included, only the last four digits of that number should be used.
      (2) Names of Minor Children. If the involvement of a minor child must be mentioned, only the initials of the child should be used.
      (3) Dates of Birth. If an individual’s date of birth must be included, only the year should be used.
      (4) Financial Account Numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of the number should be used.
      (5) Home Addresses. If a home address must be included, only the city and state should be listed.
In compliance with the E-Government Act of 2002, a party wishing to file a document containing the personal data identifiers listed above may file an unredacted document under seal. This document shall be retained by the court as part of the record. The court may, however, still require the party to file a redacted copy for the public file. Trial exhibits may be safeguarded by means other than redaction, and the court may modify this rule to fit the requirements of particular cases.

The responsibility for redacting these personal identifiers rests solely with counsel and the parties.

Filing Sealed Documents
If a party intends to file a document under seal, the document should be submitted in PDF format to PAED_Documents@paed.uscourts.gov. Both the document and the email should be clearly marked with the notation “Filed Under Seal”.

For additional information about filing documents under seal, refer to the Local Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Criminal Procedure.

Highly Sensitive Documents
Highly sensitive documents are a separate category of sealed and restricted documents that are subject to special procedures as set forth in the Standing Order issued on January 22, 2021.

False Claims Act Cases
All False Claims Act cases are filed under seal. The Complaint is docketed and no summons is issued. The Complaint is impounded and sent to the assigned judge. The Government may file a number of motions for an extension of the seal on the False Claims Act cases. If the Government files a Notice of Election to Decline Intervention or Election to Intervene, it is docketed and forwarded to the Court. If there is a complaint or an amended complaint attached to the notice, it is also docketed and forwarded to the Court. A summons is never issued unless directed by the Court.

Only upon Court order is the complaint unsealed. At this point, the Court will issue an order directing the Clerk’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on how to proceed.