HB 424 became law July 15, 2006, as we reported April 11, 2006. Yet, we have heard the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts is delaying enforcement pending the Kentucky Supreme Court's likely revision of the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure.
While one can understand the reluctance to require the Clerks to go to the expense of implementing a statute that may later be expanded by a civil rule change, litigants may be deprived of the protection of the new law. Privacy and identity theft are the rationale behind both the statute and the proposed rule change. However, with the the new law in effect, it is attorneys who may be subject to liability for disclosing in a public record that which the new law requires be redacted. We intend to comply with the new statute. If the clerk declines to accept a pleading, we will first obtain client consent for the private information to be filed in the public record. If the client objects, we will discuss with the client filing a petition of mandamus to require the clerk to accept the confidential information under seal.
A COMMENT: "I don't see the AOC implementation as being at odds with the statute. The bill, as passed, is triggered by the amendment to the Civil Rules which has not yet occurred.Just my two cents worth,John."
John H. Helmers, Jr.
Helmers DeMuth and Walton, PLC
429 W. Muhammad Ali, Suite 429
UPDATE: If the statutue is in effect, but the clerks will not accept redacted pleadings for filing nor seal the pleadings containing prohibited confidential information, it still seems to me that is "at odds." We welcome comments on what is actually occuring as pleadings are being filed. Please adivse.
MORE COMMENT: From the Kentucky Law Blog: "Interesting scenario on the rule of law, separation of powers, comity or just simply old fashioned self-serving convenience seems to have cropped up as the General Assembly has placed restrictions on personal identifiers in certain family law pleadings filed with the clerk but the AOC (the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts) seems to have trumped/postponed that compliance with the law pending revision of the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure. The Divorce Law Journal has posted an interesting rule of contrasts on this point (and links to the story are at the end of this posting).
As a 'non-family law' lawyer, I wonder how is this going to pan out? a. Noone does a thing. b. Someone refuses to file the personal information and is challenged by the opposing side? c. Someone does file the pesonal information and is challenged by the opposing side or encounters clerical resistance? d. Or some other scenario I cannot imagine as I write this at 6:30 in the morning.
In any event, interesting dichotomy is presented with statutory prescriptions on one hand and judicial rulemaking fueled by administrative lethargy on the other.'