Redaction Rules for Confidential Personal Information

Court papers are public records. Anybody can search the court system online and see the court papers submitted in a case, except papers sealed or restricted by law or court order. See Privacy to learn more. The court system does not want the public to see your court papers so some courts have rules that tell you to edit out personal information before filing your papers with the court. This is called redaction. Read the Supreme and County Court Rules. Read the City, Civil, District and Justice Court Rules.


Redaction Courts and Cases

Redaction rules apply to Supreme, County, District, City, Civil, Town, and Village Courts. The rules do not apply to Family, Criminal or Surrogate’s Court cases. Also, papers do not have to be redacted in the following types of cases:

  • divorce
  • Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law
  • name changes
  • Vehicle and Traffic Law
  • violation of a city, town or village ordinance


Information to Redact (CPI)

The Court wants you to leave out private information about yourself and others when you file your papers. This information is called confidential personal information or CPI. Here is the list of the CPI to redact and how to redact it:

  • Taxpayer ID numbers, social security numbers, and employer ID numbers are redacted by leaving out everything but the last four numbers. For example: xxx-xx-1234.
  • Dates of birth are redacted by leaving out everything but the year. For example: xx/xx/1996.
  • Children’s names are redacted by leaving out everything but the child’s initials. For example: North West might be redacted as N.W or N---- W---. A child is under 18 years old.
  • Financial account numbers are redacted by leaving out everything but the last four numbers. Financial accounts include credit or debit card numbers, bank account numbers, investment account numbers, and insurance account numbers. For example, you might redact a credit card number like this: xxxx-xxx-xxxx-1234.


Asking the Court to Allow CPI

If you think that the Judge will not be able to make a fair decision in the case without the CPI, you can ask the court for permission to submit it by making an order to show cause.

If you are asking the Court for permission to submit personal information, or if you are submitting personal information because the court said you could, you can use the Redaction Cover Page form on top of the papers you file with the Court.

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