Senate Bill Protecting Personal Information in Court Filings Passes Senate

ATLANTA (February 26, 2014) | The Georgia State Senate passed Senate Bill 386 today by a vote of 52 to 0. SB 386, sponsored by Sen. John Albers (R—Roswell), protects sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, taxpayer ID numbers and financial account numbers, included in court filings.

“The passage of Senate Bill 386 will help safeguard citizens from having their full social security numbers released in court filings,” said Sen. Albers. “In a day and age where personal identity theft is at an all-time high, this bill will provide an extra measure of security.”

Senate Bill 386 clarifies that where Social Security numbers, taxpayer identification numbers, and/or financial account numbers are included, only the last four digits of any such number may be included in the filing.  If birthdates are included, only the year of an individual’s birth may be included, and if a minor is identified, only the initials of the minor may be included.

A redaction occurs when personal information is edited or removed from a document. SB 386 also provides that in the case of a filing error, an unredacted document will be sealed and replaced in the public record with a redacted version.

Rob Morella, an Internet security auditor for a bank and constituent of the 56th Senate District, brought this issue to Sen. Albers’ attention after looking up an old traffic ticket and discovering his personal information was readily-available on the Fulton County Courts website, prompting Sen. Albers to support legislation that would protect the private information of individuals throughout the state.

Dale Russell with the Fox 5 I-team brought this issue forward to the public.  Senator Albers worked with several judges, the clerks of courts association and concerned citizens to craft a bill to best solve this important issue.

Senate Bill 386 will now travel to the House of Representatives for consideration.

For Immediate Release:
February 26, 2014

For Information Contact:

Jennifer Yarber, Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist