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Family Law Tip of the Week: Don't File Locked Documents - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Nov 3, 2017

Welcome to Tip of the Week! Judicial officers will offer a tip each week for members of the Family Law Section. Feel free to send suggestions to Mag. Kim Mattingly at

By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court

This week’s tip is copied verbatim from a colleague:

“This is coming from a profound frustration with attorneys—can the tip of the week be to STOP FILING DOCUMENTS LOCKED? Especially when they have not complied with Admin Rule 9? And, that the Notice of Exclusion is not confidential and should not be filed locked either? Seriously, what does it take to get them to do it correctly? Thank you, that is my PSA for the week.”

  1. Please do everything you can to not have to file locked documents. Remember, we don’t need full SSNs or account numbers for any of our work. Birth dates are NOT confidential info; we need the birth dates of minor children.
  2. If you must file a pleading with confidential info, remember the RULE OF THREE: (1) file the locked document, (2) file an unlocked, redacted version, and (3) file a Notice of Exclusion. The only one of these three that may be locked is (1), the full version; the other two must be unlocked.
  3. Pleadings filed in ANY paternity case after 7/1/14 are not confidential. Cases that were opened prior to 7/1/14 are hybrids, with pleadings filed before the magic day confidential and everything after that publicly available.
  4. You cannot decide (or agree with the other side) what should and should not be confidential. If it is not listed in Admin Rule 9 or covered by a statute, the information cannot be redacted.


The court does not have time to do the unlocking for you, or to send you reminders to file correctly. Well, we do have time, but this slows down our progress and then everyone suffers. Help us avoid sending the dreaded “you did it wrong” postcard that you then have to share with your client by filing correctly pursuant to Admin Rule 9!

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

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