This week in public records – Wisconsin – Texas – Idaho

A Wisconsin federal jury concluded that a police officer unlawfully disclosed a woman’s address to her ex husband, a violation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. An exception is made for the service of legal papers, which was a ruse used by the ex husband, who was subject to a restraining order, which the police officer neglected to see when he checked a court index. The case has had a chilling effect on other police departments, one of which is no longer allowing the public to view traffic violation citations.

The Texas House passed HB 2061, Relating to the acquisition or disclosure of the social security number of a living person by a governmental body, including by a district or county clerk, which allows county clerks to release documents that have social security numbers on them.

The Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on this Bill is taking place Monday, March 12. County clerks and real estate title company representatives are speaking in support of the Bill and the recording of only the last 4 digits of the social security number on all documents, which are usually only on federal tax liens and child support tax liens. One clerk has stated that the new federal tax liens only contain the last 4 numbers. Several clerks have pointed out that they don’t have the resources to redact SSNs or to digitize records.

The urgent legislation was necessary because of the disruption to government activity brought about by the recent opinion by the Texas Attorney General. The bill also allows clerks to redact social security numbers, when requested. One clerk said “she plans on requiring a notary public’s seal on all redaction requests submitted to her office.” Will the redaction requests be released as a public record, with the social security number redacted, of course?

Also reported at: Bizjournals, TVC Alert

The Idaho State Death Index has been updated to include an additional 3 years. Coverage now runs from 1911-1956.


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