[Rev. 11/20/2013 5:04:59 PM--2013]

POLICY FOR HANDLING FILED, LODGED, AND PRESUMPTIVELY CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS

 

ADOPTED

BY THE

SUPREME COURT OF NEVADA

 

____________

 

Effective August 21, 2013

and Including

Amendments Through September 1, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA

In the Matter of the Creation of a Committee on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records.

ADKT 410

ORDER ADOPTING POLICY FOR HANDLING FILED, LODGED, AND PRESUMPTIVELY CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS

 

      Whereas, the Nevada Supreme Court is concerned about the lack of a standardized policy for handling of documents presented to the clerks of the municipal, justice and district courts; and

      Whereas, the Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records presented a proposed policy to this court and a public hearing was held on the policy on September 18, 2012; and

      Whereas, this court solicited and considered public comment on the draft policy; accordingly,

      It Is Hereby Ordered that the Policy for Handling Filed, Lodged, and Presumptively Confidential Documents shall be adopted and shall read as set forth in Exhibit A.

      It Is Further Ordered that the adoption of this policy shall be effective thirty days from the date of this order. The clerk of this court shall cause a notice of entry of this order to be published in the official publication of the State Bar of Nevada. Publication of this order shall be accomplished by the clerk disseminating copies of this order to all subscribers of the advance sheets of the Nevada Reports and all persons and agencies listed in NRS 2.345, and to the executive director of the State Bar of Nevada. The certificate of the clerk of this court as to the accomplishment of the above-described publication of notice of entry and dissemination of this order shall be conclusive evidence of the adoption and publication of the foregoing rules.

      Dated this 22nd day of July, 2013.

 

BY THE COURT

Kristina Pickering, Chief Justice

Mark Gibbons                                                                               James W. Hardesty

             Associate Justice                                                                             Associate Justice

Ron D. Parraguirre                                                                    Michael L. Douglas

             Associate Justice                                                                             Associate Justice

Michael A. Cherry                                                                     Nancy M. Saitta

             Associate Justice                                                                             Associate Justice

 

 

 

TABLE OF CHANGES TO POLICY FOR HANDLING FILED, LODGED, AND PRESUMPTIVELY CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS

Key: “A” amended; “N” added; “R” repealed; “T” transferred.

 

                                                                                               Effective                                                                                                         Effective

Rule                Key                                                                    Date              Rule             Key                                                                       Date

  1........... N........................................ 8/21/13

  2........... N........................................ 8/21/13

 

 

Forms

                                                                                               Effective                                                                                                         Effective

Form               Key                                                                    Date              Form            Key                                                                       Date

  1........... N........................................ 8/21/13

  2........... N........................................ 8/21/13

  3........... N........................................ 8/21/13

  4........... N........................................ 8/21/13

 

POLICY FOR HANDLING FILED, LODGED, AND PRESUMPTIVELY CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS

 

      Rule 1.  Policy.  This policy will address the handling of documents presented to the clerks of the municipal, justice, and district courts.

      [Added; effective August 21, 2013.]

      Rule 2.  Procedures for the clerk’s office.

      1.  Filed documents.

      (a) Unless otherwise specifically authorized by statute, court rule, or this policy, the duty of the clerk of the court to file documents presented to the clerk is purely ministerial, and the clerk may not refuse to perform such a duty.

             (1) The clerk of the court shall file documents pursuant to the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (NRCP), Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (JCRCP), Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure (NRAP), statute, other court rule, or court policy.

             (2) The clerk of the court shall e-file documents pursuant to the Nevada Electronic Filing and Conversion Rules (NEFCR), statute, and other court rule.

      (b) As used in this section, “e-filing” means the electronic transmission to or from a court or clerk of a document in electronic form as defined by the accepting court; it does not include submissions via e-mail, fax, or other electronic means.

      2.  Lodged documents.  A document is considered to be “lodged” with the court for the temporary period of time between:

      (a) Submission of the document to the court; and

      (b) Classification of the document by the court as either:

             (1) “Filed,” such that the public has access to the redacted or unredacted version of the document; or

             (2) “Presumptively confidential,” such that the public does not have access to the document unless otherwise provided by law or this policy.

      3.  Subpoenaed documents.  Any document subpoenaed and delivered to the court must be presented to the applicable Judicial Executive Assistant (JEA) or Judicial Assistant (JA) for processing, unless otherwise ordered by the judge of the applicable department.

      4.  Correspondence.[1]

      (a) As used in this section, “ex parte communication” means a generally prohibited communication between counsel or a party and the court, and not directed to opposing counsel, concerning a pending or impending matter, unless permitted by law.

      (b) Any “ex parte communication” or any correspondence that does not conform to standard filing procedures, must be directed to the applicable Judicial Executive Assistant (JEA) or Judicial Assistant (JA) for screening, unless otherwise ordered by the judge of the applicable department or by court policy.

      (c) For purposes of this rule:

             (1) A judge may consult with court staff and court officials whose functions are to aid the judge in carrying out the judge’s adjudicative responsibilities, provided that the judge makes reasonable efforts to avoid receiving factual information that is not part of the record.

             (2) Correspondence that constitutes a mere notice may be filed and is not required to be forwarded to a JEA or JA for screening.

             (3) If correspondence is considered “ex parte communication,” the applicable judicial department shall:

                   (i) Return the “ex parte communication” to the sender; or

                   (ii) Schedule a hearing and present copies of the “ex-parte communication” to all parties.

             (4) If correspondence is not considered “ex parte communication,” the applicable judicial department must temporarily “lodge” the document, as confidential, until classification of the document is determined by the court as outlined in Rule 2(2).

             (5) A judicial department may also direct correspondence to be formally filed with the court’s filing office.

      5.  Documents to be considered presumptively confidential and non-public.[2]

      (a) The following documents are to be considered “presumptively confidential” until a sufficient threshold showing for disclosure has been reached by way of motion:

             (1) Adoption Documents (NRS Chapter 127) (NRS 432.035);

             (2) Adverse party and victim information sheets in protection order cases;

             (3) Affidavit of Financial Condition;

             (4) Any document sealed by statute or court rule;

             (5) Any document that has been ordered sealed by a judge pursuant to the Nevada Rules for Sealing and Redacting Court Records (SRCR).

             (6) Any reports from National Crime Information Center (NCIC), National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics (NCJIS), or any confidential law informant database (NRS 179.245, if applicable);

             (7) Bench warrant paperwork, except for cover sheet signed by judge;

             (8) Child abuse or child neglect investigation reports (NRS Chapter 432B);

             (9) Civil-commitment case documents (NRS Chapter 433A);

             (10) Confidential letters from a Family Mediation Center (NRS Chapter 127) (NRS 432.035);

             (11) Court-ordered counseling reports (NRS Chapter 433) (HIPAA);

             (12) Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) reports filed under seal (NRS 432.035);

             (13) Documents designated by the submitting party as “proprietary” or “trade secrets” (NRS Chapter 600A et seq.);

             (14) Documents relating to homeland security as defined by NRS 239C.210;

             (15) Drug screening test results, drug screening referrals (NRS Chapter 433) (HIPAA);

             (16) Financial Declarations;

             (17) Genetic testing information/paternity testing information (NRS Chapter 126);

             (18) In Forma Pauperis Documents (including application);

             (19) Information gathered for child custody records (NRS Chapter 125);

             (20) Judges’ notes that are included in a case file as distinct documents;

             (21) Markup sheets or memos generated by court clerks or other court staff (including memoranda prepared by law clerks or staff attorneys);

             (22) Medical records, mental health records, HIV/AIDS testing information, or treatment records for a party or witness (NRS Chapter 433) (HIPAA);

             (23) Property division orders or separation agreements in divorce cases (NRS Chapter 125);

             (24) Reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or isolation of older person (NRS 200.5095);

             (25) Reports from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Special Advocates for Elders (SAFE), and Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) Reports (NRS 176.156); and

             (26) Search warrants sealed by the court (NRS 179.045) (otherwise presumptively public record).

      6.  Redaction.

      (a) “Redact” means to protect from examination by the public and unauthorized court personnel a portion or portions of a specified court record.

      (b) As defined by NRS 603A.040, “personal information” means a natural person’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements, when the name and data elements are not encrypted:

             (1) Social security number;

             (2) Driver’s license number or identification card number; or

             (3) Account number, credit card number, or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to the person’s financial account.

The term does not include the last four digits of a social security number, the last four digits of a driver’s license number or the last four digits of an identification card number or publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public.

      (c) The primary duty for redaction rests with the filing party. If a court employee discovers, in a document presented for filing, “personal information” as defined by NRS 603A.040, the clerk may, in consultation with his or her supervisor:

             (1) Take the following action:

                   (i) Reject a proposed filing and require the filing party to submit a redacted and unredacted version of the document;

                   (ii) Return an already filed document as “filed in error” and require the filing party to submit a redacted and unredacted version of the document; or

                   (iii) Prepare a redacted copy of the document in addition to the unredacted copy; and

             (2) Maintain the redacted copy in a manner accessible to the public and the unredacted version as a presumptively confidential document.

      [Added; effective August 21, 2013.]

APPENDIX OF FORMS

Form 1.  Notice of document received but not considered by the court

 

Code 2528

 

 

IN THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF WASHOE

 

 

THE STATE OF NEVADA,

 

                                            Plaintiff,                                                   Case No.

 

                                                                                                                Dept. No.

      vs.

 

DEFENDANT’S NAME,

 

                                            Defendant.

 

__________________________________ /

 

 

NOTICE OF DOCUMENT RECEIVED BUT NOT CONSIDERED BY THE COURT

 

      Take notice that the attached document has been received unsolicited by the Court. The Court has not reviewed the document. Further, the Court will not review the document absent an affirmative request to do so from a party.

 

 

Form 2.  Letter from defendant or other

 

Code 1930

 

 

IN THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF WASHOE

 

 

THE STATE OF NEVADA,

 

                                            Plaintiff,                                                   Case No.

 

                                                                                                                Dept. No.

      vs.

 

DEFENDANT’S NAME,

 

                                            Defendant.

 

__________________________________ /

 

 

LETTER FROM (DEFENDANT OR OTHER)

 

 

See attached.

 

Form 3.  Ex parte communications notice

 

 

 

Description: http://ltgov.nv.gov/images/downloads/nv_seal_b&w_2095x2113.png

 

 

 

 

 

To: ______________________________________________________________

 

Date: ____________________________________________________________

 

Subject Case No.: __________________________________________________

 

Hearing Date: _____________________________________________________

 

 

This office has received the attached correspondence concerning subject case. Please prepare the document(s) for presentation to the court.

 

The attached is being turned over to you because the Nevada Supreme Court Rules, Part 6 Revised Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.9(A), provides that “A judge shall not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications, or consider other communications made to the judge outside the presence of the parties . . . concerning a pending or impending matter . . . .” Additionally, under Rule 2.9(B), “If a judge inadvertently receives an unauthorized ex parte communication bearing upon the substance of a matter, the judge shall make provision promptly to notify the parties of the substance of the communication and provide the parties with an opportunity to respond.”

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

Attached

Form 4.  Motion for disclosure of non-public information

 

 

JUSTICE COURT, LAS VEGAS TOWNSHIP

CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA

 

______________________________     )

______________________________     )

______________________________     )

                                                                            )       Case No. _____________________

                                            Plaintiff,                )

                                                                            )       Dept. No. _____________________

                vs.                                                       )

______________________________     )

______________________________     )

______________________________     )       MOTION FOR DISCLOSURE OF

                                                                            )       NON-PUBLIC INFORMATION

                                            Defendant(s).       )

_________________________________       )

 

 

DECLARATION

 

 

(1) PLEASE CHECK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:

 

This Motion is being brought by:

 

[   ]      A member of the following media organization: ______________________

 

[   ]      The following criminal Defendant: _________________________________

 

[   ]      An attorney for the following client: ________________________________

 

[   ]      OTHER: _____________________________________________________

 

            ____________________________________________________________

 

(2) PLEASE COMPLETE THE LINE BELOW:

 

Court staff has indicated that the following document(s) currently in the file are deemed to be presumptively non-public and confidential:

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

(3) PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY THE COURT SHOULD ALLOW ACCESS TO THE DOCUMENT(S) LISTED ABOVE:

 

(NOTE: If you need more space, please attach additional pages.)

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

 

(4) PLEASE SIGN BELOW:

 

Under the penalty of perjury under the law of the State of Nevada, I swear or affirm that the above information is true and correct, and that the Court should allow access to the requested document(s).

 

Signature: ______________________________ Date: ____________________

 

Phone Number: ____________________________________________________

 

                                                                                                                                                       

 

ORDER

 

[   ]       This matter will be set for hearing, and all parties will be notified. The hearing date will be at _______ ___M on the _____ day of __________, 20_____.

 

[   ]       The motion is denied as to the following documents ___________________

                                                                                                                                                       

             for the following reason(s):

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                       

 

[   ]       The motion is granted as to the following documents __________________

                                                                                                                                                        .

             You may bring a copy of this order to the front counter to obtain the requested information.

 

[   ]       OTHER: ____________________________________________________

                                                                                                                                                       

 

 

DATED THIS ___________ DAY OF ______________________, 20__________.

 

                                                                _____________________________________

                                                                JUSTICE OF THE PEACE



                [1] See Forms 1-3 for examples of forms used to return correspondence that may be deemed ex parte communication.

                [2]See Form 4 for an example of a Motion for Disclosure of Non-Public Information.