[Rev. 11/20/2013 5:09:54 PM--2013]

PART VII.  RULES GOVERNING SEALING AND REDACTING COURT RECORDS

      Rule 1.  Nevada Rules for Sealing and Redacting Court Records; purpose, policy, and scope of rules.

      1.  Title.  These rules may be known and cited as Nevada Rules for Sealing and Redacting Court Records, or abbreviated SRCR.

      2.  Purpose.  These rules provide a uniform procedure for the sealing and redacting of court records in civil actions.

      3.  Policy.  All court records in civil actions are available to the public, except as otherwise provided in these rules or by statute.

      4.  Scope.  These rules apply to all court records in civil actions, regardless of the physical form of the court record, the method of recording the court record, or the method of storage of the court record. These rules do not apply to the sealing or redacting of court records under specific statutes, such as NRS Chapter 33, NRS Chapter 179, juvenile cases pursuant to NRS Chapters 62 and 63, or domestic relations matters pursuant to NRS Chapters 122 (Marriage), 123 (Rights of Husband and Wife), 125 (Dissolution), 126 (Parentage), 127 (Adoption), 128 (Termination of Parental Rights), 129 (Minors’ Disabilities), 130 (Child Support), 453 (Treatment and Rehabilitation of Addicts), 433, 433A (Admission to Mental Health Facilities/Sealing of Records), 433B (Provisions Relating to Children), 435 (Retarded Persons), and 436 (Community Programs for Mental Health) or to NRS Title 13 (Guardianships; Conservatorships; Trusts). These rules do not provide for the retention or destruction of court records or files.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 2.  Definitions.  In these rules:

      1.  “Court file” means all the pleadings, orders, exhibits, discovery, and other papers properly filed with the clerk of the court under a single or consolidated case number(s).

      2.  “Court record” includes, but is not limited to:

      (a) Any document, information, exhibit, or other thing that is maintained by a court in connection with a judicial proceeding; and

      (b) Any index, calendar, docket, register of actions, official record of the proceedings, order, decree, judgment, minute, and any information in a case management system created or prepared by the court that is related to a judicial proceeding.

      “Court record” does not include data maintained by or for a judge pertaining to a particular case or party, such as personal notes and communications, memoranda, drafts, or other working papers; or information gathered, maintained, or stored by a government agency or other entity to which the court has access but which is not entered in connection with a judicial proceeding, nor does it include documents or information provided to the court for inspection or in camera review unless made a part of the court record by order.

      3.  “Person” shall include and apply to corporations, firms, associations and all other entities, as well as natural persons.

      4.  “Seal.” To seal means to protect from examination by the public and unauthorized court personnel. A motion or order to delete, purge, remove, excise, erase, or redact shall be treated as a motion or order to seal.

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

      6.  “Restricted personal information” includes a person’s social security number, driver’s license or identification card number, telephone numbers, financial account numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), and credit card or debit card account numbers, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to a person’s financial account(s). The term does not include the last four digits of a social security number or publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 3.  Process and grounds for sealing or redacting court records.

      1.  Request to seal or redact court records; service.  Any person may request that the court seal or redact court records for a case that is subject to these rules by filing a written motion, or the court may, upon its own motion, initiate proceedings to seal or redact a court record. A motion to seal or redact a court record must disclose, in its title and document code, that sealing or redaction is being sought. The motion must be served on all parties to the action in accordance with NRCP 5.

      2.  Access to court record while motion pending.  When a motion to seal or redact a court record has been filed, the information to be sealed or redacted remains confidential for a reasonable period of time until the court rules on the motion.

      3.  Hearing; notice.  The court may conduct a hearing on a motion to seal or redact a court record. If the court orders a hearing, the court may also require that the movant provide notice to the general public by posting information, including the time, date, and location of the hearing, at a place within the confines of the court that is accessible to the general public.

      4.  Grounds to seal or redact; written findings required.  The court may order the court files and records, or any part thereof, in a civil action to be sealed or redacted, provided the court makes and enters written findings that the specific sealing or redaction is justified by identified compelling privacy or safety interests that outweigh the public interest in access to the court record. The parties’ agreement alone does not constitute a sufficient basis for the court to seal or redact court records. The public interest in privacy or safety interests that outweigh the public interest in open court records include findings that:

      (a) The sealing or redaction is permitted or required by federal or state law;

      (b) The sealing or redaction furthers an order entered under NRCP 12(f) or JCRCP 12(f) or a protective order entered under NRCP 26(c) or JCRCP 26(c);

      (c) The sealing or redaction furthers an order entered in accordance with federal or state laws that serve to protect the public health and safety;

      (d) The redaction includes only restricted personal information contained in the court record;

      (e) The sealing or redaction is of the confidential terms of a settlement agreement of the parties;

      (f) The sealing or redaction includes medical, mental health, or tax records;

      (g) The sealing or redaction is necessary to protect intellectual proprietary or property interests such as trade secrets as defined in NRS 600A.030(5); or

      (h) The sealing or redaction is justified or required by another identified compelling circumstance.

      5.  Limitations on sealing or redacting.

      (a) Public hazard.  In no event may the sealing or redaction have the purpose or effect of concealing a public hazard.

      (b) Redaction preferred.  A court record shall not be sealed under these rules when reasonable redaction will adequately resolve the issues before the court under subsection 4 above.

      (c) Sealing of entire court file prohibited.  Under no circumstances shall the court seal an entire court file. An order entered under these rules must, at a minimum, require that the following information is available for public viewing on court indices: (i) the case number(s) or docket code(s) or number(s); (ii) the date that the action was commenced; (iii) the names of the parties, counsel of record, and the assigned judge; (iv) the notation “case sealed”; (v) the case type and cause(s) of action, which may be obtained from the Civil Cover Sheet; (vi) the order to seal and written findings supporting the order; and (vii) the identity of the party or other person who filed the motion to seal.

      6.  Scope and duration of order.  If the court enters an order sealing or redacting a court record, the court shall use the least restrictive means and duration.

      7.  Procedures for maintaining sealed court records.

      (a) When the clerk receives a court order to seal specified court records, the clerk shall:

             (1) Preserve the docket code, document title, document and subdocument number, and date of the original court records on the court’s docket;

             (2) Remove the specified court records, seal them, and return them to the file under seal or store them separately. The clerk shall substitute a filler sheet for the removed sealed court record. If the sealed record exists in a microfilm, microfiche, or other storage medium form other than paper, the clerk shall restrict access to the alternate storage medium so as to prevent unauthorized viewing of the sealed court record; and

             (3)  File the order and the written findings supporting the order to seal. Both shall be accessible to the public.

      (b) Sealed court records may be maintained in a medium other than paper.

      (c) Before a court file is made available for examination, the clerk shall prevent access to the sealed court records.

      8.  Procedures for redacted court records.  When a court record is redacted in accordance with a court order, the clerk shall replace the original court record in the public court file with the redacted copy. The person who filed the motion shall provide the redacted copy. The original unredacted court record shall be sealed following the procedures set forth in subsection 7 of this rule.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 4.  Process and grounds for unsealing court records.

      1.  Scope.  Court records that are sealed, whether or not pursuant to this rule, may be examined by the public only after entry of a court order allowing access to the record in accordance with this rule.

      2.  Motion; service.  A sealed court record in a civil case shall be unsealed only upon stipulation of all the parties, upon the court’s own motion, or upon a motion filed by a named party or another person. A motion to unseal a court record must be served on all parties to the action in accordance with NRCP 5. If the movant cannot locate a party for service after making a good faith effort to do so, the movant may file an affidavit setting forth the efforts to locate the party and requesting that the court waive the service requirements of this rule. The court may waive the service requirement if it finds that further good faith efforts to locate the party are not likely to be successful.

      3.  Hearing.  Any party opposing the motion shall appear and show cause why the motion should not be granted. The responding party must show that compelling circumstances continue to exist or that other grounds provide a sufficient legal or factual basis for keeping the record sealed.

      4.  Time limit.  No motion may be made under this rule more than 5 years after a final judgment has been entered in an action or, if an appeal from a final judgment is taken, after issuance of the remittitur, whichever is later.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 5.  Jurisdiction.  The court shall retain jurisdiction to entertain a motion brought under these rules.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 6.  Sanctions.  If the court determines that a motion made under these rules was not made in good faith or violates NRCP 11 or JCRCP 11, the court may impose sanctions upon the party or person who filed the motion or upon that party or person’s counsel in accordance with NRCP 11(c) or JCRCP 11(c).

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 7.  Use of sealed records on appeal.  A civil court record or any portion of it that was sealed in the trial court shall be made available to the Nevada Supreme Court in the event of an appeal. Court records sealed in the trial court shall be sealed from public access in the Nevada Supreme Court subject to further order of that court.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]

      Rule 8.  Effect on other law.  Nothing in these rules is intended to restrict or to expand the authority of court clerks or county clerks under existing statutes, nor is anything in these rules intended to restrict or expand the authority of any public auditor in the exercise of duties conferred by state law.

      [Added; effective January 1, 2008.]