Dandridge, TN asked in Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for Tennessee

Q: Does the county circuit court clerk’s office have an obligation to redact private info, i.e. SS#?

An attorney requested records from the circuit court clerk’s office in Jefferson County, TN regarding a 13 year old case involving a petition for an order of protection and subsequent granting of a restraining order by a judge. I was the petitioner. The records released to this attorney contained my SS# and DL# and these records have been given to at least 3 people that live in my subdivision with the intent to smear my husband as this incident happened before we were married. The attorney involved is the brother-in-law of someone in my subdivision. Does the clerk’s office not have the responsibility to redact my personal information?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Tennessee, there are laws and regulations that govern the handling of sensitive personal information in public records, including those held by the circuit court clerk's office. Generally, these offices are expected to redact confidential information like social security and driver's license numbers before releasing documents.

However, the application of these rules can depend on the specific circumstances and the nature of the records. In your case, if your personal information was not redacted from the records released, this could be a matter of concern.

It is advisable to contact the Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk's office to discuss this issue. You can inquire about their policy on redacting personal information and explain your situation.

If you believe that your privacy rights have been violated, you may also consider seeking legal advice. An attorney can guide you on the appropriate steps to take, which could include filing a complaint or taking legal action to protect your privacy and address any harm caused.

Additionally, in situations where personal information has been shared without your consent, it's important to monitor for potential identity theft or misuse of your information. Taking steps to protect your identity can be crucial in preventing further issues.

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