Navigating Pennsylvania’s New Public Access Policy For Family Law Matters

The State of Pennsylvania recently enacted a new public access policy, 204 Pa. Code §213.81, to address the conflict between providing the public online access to Court filings and protecting private information. The new policy restricts public access to personal information and documents.
The confidential information restricted under this policy includes Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, driver license numbers, state identification numbers, minor’s names and birthdays and all personal and employment information of abuse victims. The Pennsylvania Legislature has given each county the option to choose whether to use a cover sheet outlining all confidential information redacted from a pleading or to require the filing of both a “redacted” version and “unredacted” version. Local rules dictate how to file pleadings in each county.
Confidential documents include financial documents, minors’ educational records, medical and/or psychological records, Children and Youth Services’ records, Marital Property Inventory and Pre-Trial Statements, Income and Expense Statements, and Agreements between the parties. All counties require these documents to be filed with a “Confidential Document Form” and will not be accessible to the public.
In addition to information and documents restricted under the new policy, all pleading must contain a “Certification of Compliance” stating that the filing complies with the new requirements.
If these new rules are not followed, the Court may apply sanctions, including costs necessary to prepare a compliant document for filing.
If you have questions on how this new Public Access Policy, affects your case please feel free to contact us.

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One comment on “Navigating Pennsylvania’s New Public Access Policy For Family Law Matters
  1. Needed and useful one. Thanks for sharing with us

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About Family Law Focus
The Family Law Focus blog provides highlights, updates and insights on complex family disputes including divorce, division of property, and alimony; child and spousal support; child custody; domestic violence; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; name changes; and adoption or termination of parental rights.
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The Editor

Jennifer A. Brandt, of Cozen O'Connor's Family Law practice, has represented a wide variety of clients in hundreds of family law cases throughout her career. Jennifer is a regular legal commentator on national and local television outlets such as CNN, Fox New Network, HLN, MSNBC, Fox29, ABC News, NBC and CBS and frequently writes and contributes to articles in numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Fox Business.com, The PhiIly Post, Avvo.com, Allparenting.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Business Journal, the National Law Journal, and Main Line Today magazine.
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