SB 0309 Prohibits sealing of civil court records, with limited exceptions
LR Number:0932S.02I Fiscal Note:0932-02
Committee:Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:02/14/01 - Hearing Conducted S Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Journal page:
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

SB 309 - This act establishes that all pleadings, motions and other documents filed in civil cases are open public records, with limited exceptions. Certain records which are sealed under current law, i.e. records in juvenile cases and records of judicial disciplinary complaints where a investigation is conducted and no formal case is filed, remain sealed. The act authorizes judges to order that records be sealed if the requesting party can show that the request is narrowly tailored and that: (a) the information is a trade secret, (b) the information would cause undue harm to a party, and (c) an interest exists which substantially outweighs the right of public access to the information. In a certain class of cases, the act allows judges to seal records only if the case involves allegations of child abuse and the child or a representative requests such sealing. The special class of cases includes, but is not limited to, discrimination, sexual harassment, defective products and fraud.