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When is Less Green Greener? Family Law Attorneys' Lives Just Got a Little Easier - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Jan 5, 2015

By Richard A. Mann, Richard A. Mann PC

Administrative Rule 9 of the Indiana Rules has been amended by the Indiana Supreme Court. As a result of the changes, family law attorneys will be using less green paper, which is a good thing. It will reduce the paper being stored at the courts as well as in your files. Previously, if a pleading or filing with the court had confidential information such as a social security number or bank account number, then the attorney would be required to file the document without a redacted version of the number and then file on green paper to be stored separately in the court document. This separate file would have the caption of the case and a version of the document that indicated the full social security number or account number.

The court has created a category of confidential information pursuant to rule “9(G)(5)(b)(i) [that] is not necessary to the disposition of the case, the excluded Court Record need not be filed or tendered in any form and only the Public Access version is required.” According to the commentary, “The Non-Public-Access version is to be on green paper and must contain the confidential material redacted or omitted from the Public Access version, unless the omitted or redacted confidential material is not necessary to the disposition of the case (such as a social security number, a bank number, etc.), in which instance the redacted or omitted material need not ever be separately tendered or filed on green paper and only a Public Access version is required.” [Emphasis added]

To put this in practical language, in a normal case, what an attorney needs to do is file the pleading or document with the redacted social security or account number on white paper. Typically, it is the number with digits represented by xxx with the last four digits shown. This is the only filing. If you need to send something to an employer such as an income withholding order or QDRO, then you also file with court a copy clearly marking that it is not for public access, and that copy is not kept by the court. It is only used to send to the employer. Our firm obtained rubber stamps when the origin rule went into effect to clearly mark the documents.

If the confidential information is essential to the case, then the green paper requirement remains and a new pleading is required by the rule. A copy of the pleading and further explanation is contained in the rule.  

This post was contributed by Richard A. Mann, Richard A. Man PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org.

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