Saturday, January 11, 2014

C-Track - S.C.'s On-Line Appellate Court Public Index and the Importance of Redacting

The South Carolina Judicial Department recently unveiled its online public index system, C-Track, which provides public access to information regarding cases filed with the Supreme Court of South Carolina and the South Carolina Court of Appeals.  Users can view events and other basic case information online.  One of the the best features of this system is the ability to view documents filed in appellate cases, such as motions, briefs, records on appeal, orders, and opinions.  Currently, only appeals from the Court of Common Pleas and administrative tribunals pending or filed as of May 1, 2012, are available online; however, non-public, sealed, or confidential cases are not available for public viewing on this site.

One very important thing legal professionals and litigants need to consider when filing documents with South Carolina's appellate courts, especially now that the information is available online, is that ALL of your documents filed with the court have been checked for personal identifying information (PII) and redacted accordingly.  PII includes the following information:

  • social security numbers;
  • driver's license or state identification numbers;
  • passport numbers;
  • bank account numbers;
  • credit debit card numbers; or
  • personal identification (PIN) codes or passwords
See S.C. Code Ann. § 30-2-340.  Moreover, pursuant to the supreme court's August 13, 2007 order, entitled "Interim Guidance Regarding Personal Data Identifiers and Other Sensitive Information in Appellate Court Filings":

  • Parties shall not include, or will partially redact where inclusion is necessary, the following personal data identifiers from documents filed with an appellate court: 
    1. Social Security Numbers. If a social security number must be included, only the last four digits of that number should be used. 
    2. Names of Minor Children. If a minor is the victim of a sexual assault or is involved in an abuse or neglect case, the minor’s name will be completely redacted and a term such as “victim” or “child” should be used. In all other cases, only the minor’s first name and first initial of the last name (i.e., John S.) should be used. . . .
    3. Financial Account Numbers. If financial account numbers are relevant, only the last four digits of these numbers should be used. 
    4. Home Addresses. If a home address must be included, only the city and state should be used.


Because these filings are now online, it is that much easier to access this information. So, before you send your filing to the clerk's office, especially your record on appeal, be sure to review it for PII and redact it accordingly.  

Happy filing!