Clerks of court no longer required to identify and designate information as confidential in circuit court, county civil and small claims court documents

Change results from state Supreme Court action

Image from the website of the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller

As a result of recent Florida Supreme Court action, clerks of court no longer will be required “to identify and designate information as confidential” in circuit civil, county civil and small claims court documents, Karen Rushing, Sarasota County clerk of the Circuit Court and county comptroller, has announced.

Effective as of July 1, “[I]nformation eligible to be kept confidential must now be identified by the filer,” Rushing notes in a news release. “If not specified, the information will not be designated as confidential and will become public information,” the release points out.

The change is in accordance with the Florida Supreme Court’s recent amendment to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420, the release explains.

“All filers, including attorneys and self-represented litigants, will be required to do the following,” the release continues:

  • “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 type of confidential information or provision that applies to the identified information.
  • “Identify the precise location(s) of confidential information within the document, including each page number on which it appears.”

The release adds that the amended rule does not affect Jimmy Ryce civil commitments, cases stemming from sexual assault, and medical malpractice filings.

The Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller’s Office “suggests that attorneys, legal professionals, self-represented litigants, and other individuals who file court documents review the Florida Supreme Court’s amendment to Rule 2.420, and become fully familiar with the rule change so that confidential information is not made public,” the release adds. “Filers are encouraged to visit the Sarasota County Clerk and Comptroller’s website to learn more about the rule and access the Notice of Confidential Information form for the 12th Judicial Circuit.”