Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing

The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves as the ministerial arm of the courts.  The Clerk acts as custodian of the courts' records and performs such duties as are enjoined by statute or imposed by lawful authority of the court.  It is the duty of the Clerk to make and keep an accurate record of the proceedings in court and of the courts' orders and adjudications.

 Protecting Sensitive Data

The Clerk of Courts & County Comptroller is committed to protecting your sensitive data from public view. This office has electronically reviewed its documents and blocked recognized sensitive data. Due to various issues, such as poor document quality or handwritten items, it is possible the system may have missed some sensitive information. We continue to strive to protect data held by this agency and in this effort, we have compiled the following information to assist each filer to be better prepared and aware of information that should not be filed in your document/case.

Similarly, the Florida Judiciary requires protections of sensitive information pursuant to the Rules of Judicial Administration 2.425 (Minimization of the Filing of Sensitive Information) and 2.420(d) (Notice of Confidential Information within a Filing). If sensitive information has already been filed in Court Records, you must complete the Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing form and file it with the Courts department. You may electronically file this document to the Court via the Florida Courts Portal or submit the document by mail at PO Box 1260, DeFuniak Springs, FL  32435.

 Minimization of the Filing of Sensitive Information

Pursuant to the Rule of Judicial Administration 2.425, sensitive information filed in court cases must be limited to the designated format, e.g., no portion of any social security or credit card number, the last 4 digits of any driver license or passport number, the year of birth of a person’s birth date, etc.

If such information is required as noted in Rule 2.425, Rule 2.420 provides the procedure for filing an appropriate Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing.

 Changes to Redaction of Private Information in Certain Court Records

In accordance with a recent amendment by the Florida Supreme Court, to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420, “the clerk will not be required to identify and designate information as confidential,” in circuit civil, county civil and small claims court documents.

Effective July 1, 2021, filers will be solely responsible for ensuring any confidential information contained in filings in these cases is appropriately redacted or identified for redaction. 

All filers, including attorneys and self-represented litigants, will be required to:

  • File a Notice of Confidential Information in circuit civil, county civil and small claims court cases when filing documents with Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or other non-public information.
  • Identify the precise location(s) of confidential information within the document, including each page number on which it appears
  • Identify the type of confidential information or provision that applies to the identified information

The amended rule affects small claims court filings and circuit and county court civil cases, except for Jimmy Ryce civil commitments, cases stemming from sexual assault, and medical malpractice filings.

Clerks around the state are currently exploring options across county offices to address the amendment’s broad implementation. However, the Walton County Clerk of Courts suggests attorneys, legal professionals, self-represented litigants, and other individuals who file court documents review the amendment and become fully familiar with the rule change so that confidential information is not made public.

The Florida Supreme Court’s amendment to Rule 2.420 can be found here.

 Notice of Confidential Information for Court Filings

Effective October 1, 2010, pursuant to the Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420(d)(2), the filer (individual or attorney) of a court record must identify certain records as containing confidential information. This rule also contains the proper procedures for sealing and unsealing of court records, establishes procedures for criminal cases, and addresses sealing of appellate court records.

The filer of a court record containing confidential information is responsible for providing the Clerk & Comptroller a Notice of Confidential Information Within Court Filing form. This Notice should accompany the filing. If this Notice is filed for a document previously filed in a case that contains confidential information, the filer must identify the case information with specificity the confidentiality provision that applies; and identify the exact location of the confidential information within the document as outlined on the Notice section 2. A Notice is required for each document previously filed with this office.

The Clerk of Court has the authority to redact or make confidential only specific information. If the request is outside the authority of the Clerk of Court, you will be notified within five (5) days of filing the notice and must file a Motion to Determine Confidentiality of Court Records form with the Clerk of Court to schedule a hearing on this matter. The Court shall make the ultimate determination whether confidentiality is proper and may provide a Court Order.

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