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Home > Privacy and Government > Government Threats to Privacy > Public Records > Judicial Records > Civil Records


Civil Records

Judicial records in civil matters (including appeals) often contain personal and private information about litigants, witnesses, and third parties. Civil matters with obvious privacy implications include such things as divorce, adoption, custody, and medical liability cases, but even traditional business disputes often include personal and private records of the parties.

Though judicial records should generally be kept open to the public, courts will have to come to terms with the need for issuing protective orders in order to prevent inappropriate exposure of private facts about litigants and witnesses. They will need to be watchful of legitimate privacy claims, while observing the strong public interest in open judicial records.


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[updated 01/18/01]



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