Federal Records – Criminal Documents Go Online

The October issue of the federal courts’ newsletter, The Third Branch, reminds readers that “[b]eginning November 1, 2004, all criminal case file documents available to the public at a courthouse also will be available remotely through the court’s electronic access system.”

If a court has not yet implemented case management/electronic case files (CM/ECF) access, then online access to the criminal files will not be available.

Moreover, “[a]s with civil and bankruptcy cases, personal data identifiers must be redacted by the filer of a criminal case document, whether the document is filed electronically or in paper. These redacted identifiers are Social Security and financial account numbers to the last four digits; the names of minor children to the initials; dates of birth to the year; and home addresses to the city and state. It is the filer’s obligation to redact these documents.”


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