From the Winter 2001 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 18.
The following are the options presented in a federal judicial proposal on electronic access to court records:
Civil Case Files
- All documents presumptively available electronically, unless sealed.
- Specify what documents should be included in the electronically available “public file.”
- Establish “levels of access” to certain electronic case file information.
- Amend the procedural rules to account for privacy and security interests.
Criminal Case Files
- No electronic public access to criminal case files.
- Limited electronic public access to criminal case files.
Bankruptcy Case Files
- Severely limit definition of those who are allowed to see files.
- Require less information on petitions or schedules and statements filed in bankruptcy cases.
- Restrict use of any account numbers to only the last four digits.
- Segregate sensitive information from the public file, keeping it in forms with limited access.
- Apply the same access rules to appellate courts that apply at the trial court level.
- Keep sealed or restricted trial documents confidential until a party challenges the restriction.