Public Access Policy Compliance Certificates (Proposed amendments to Pa. R.A.P 127 and related amendments to all rules that authorize a filing)
Effective January 1, 2018, the new Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts will go into effect. The Policy imposes a duty on counsel to exclude certain types of information (such as social security numbers and bank account numbers, among others) from court filings and to file financial documents such as tax returns with a Confidential Document Form (CDF) to alert the court that the filing contains a document that should not be publicly accessible. The Policy is available here.
The Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee has published for comment new Pa. R.A.P. 127, which would require that all appellate court filings contain a certification that the document being filed complies with the Policy. The certification, similar to a word count certification, would be in the following form:
I certify that this filing complies with the provisions of the Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts that require filing confidential information and documents differently than non-confidential information and documents.
In addition to new Pa. R.A.P. 127, the Committee is proposing to amend each rule that authorizes or requires an appellate court filing to advise counsel that the certification must be included in the filing.
Proposed amendments Concerning Public Access Policy (47 Pa.B. 4622, August 12, 2017); comments due September 12, 2017.