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Protect Personal Information

Information on this web page is general in nature. Descriptions of laws and court procedures are abbreviated. This information is not intended as legal advice. If you do not understand this information or if you need legal advice you should see an attorney.

What is “Protected Information”?

Usually, personal information in case filings is not automatically kept confidential. It only becomes confidential once it is excluded. Information that should always be excluded is called “Protected Information”.

Do not include protected information in your case filings if it is not necessary.  If you do not know if the information is necessary, consult an attorney.

Protected information can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a person, and includes:

  • Social security numbers

  • Financial account numbers

  • Dates of birth

  • Names of minor children

  • Individual tax payer identification numbers

  • Personal identification numbers

  • Other unique identifying numbers

  • Confidential information as defined in rule 16.201(1).

When do I need to exclude Protected Information?

You need to exclude protected information if it is included in any document in any case except those cases that are already held confidential or documents that are held confidential by Iowa Code or rule or by court order. List of documents and case types automatically held confidential (PDF).

You do not need to protect personal information if it is not included in the documents you file.

You do not need to protect personal information entered into the Electronic Cover Sheet in the Iowa eFile system; it is always kept confidential.

How do I exclude personal information?

If protected information must be included, you must submit a copy of the document that has most of the protected information removed or masked. This is called a redaction. The redaction will include only public information. Include the least amount of information that will identify the individual. Redaction Instructions (PDF).

Redacted protected information examples (public information)

Protected Information Type

Protected Information

Public Information

Social security number

999-99-9999

XXX-XX-xxx9

Financial account numbers

5431-2453-0010-8222

XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-8222

Date of birth

04/20/1957

XX/XX/1957

Names of minor children

Karee Angela Brown

Max Aaron Brown

Child 1

Child 2

Individual taxpayer identification numbers

99-99999789

XX-XXXXXX789

Personal identification numbers

16161

XXX61

Other unique identifying numbers

PM596423

XXXXX423

What other information may be redacted without a court order?

You may choose to redact the following personal information without first requesting approval from the court:

  • Driver’s license number

  • Information concerning medical treatment or diagnosis

  • Employment history

  • Personal financial information

  • Proprietary or trade secret information

  • Information concerning a person’s cooperation with the government

  • Information concerning crime victims

  • Sensitive security information

  • Home addresses

What are my responsibilities for protecting personal information?

It is your responsibility to protect personal information in any document you submit. This responsibility includes:

  • Redacting protected information in your own filings.

  • Asking the court to redact protected personal information in documents that others file in your cases.

  • Inspecting court reporters’ transcripts for possible redaction. After receiving a Notice of Transcript redaction, you have 21 days to review the transcript and agree that no further redaction is necessary or request that additional personal information should be redacted.  You must specify any information or additional information to redact on the Transcript Redaction Form (PDF).

  • Inspecting exhibits admitted into evidence for protected personal information that has not been properly redacted from the exhibits at the end of the hearing or trial.

What if I have been excused from the rules of electronic registration and electronic filing?

You must still redact protected information from documents that you submit in paper to the court. When you start a case, you will use the Civil Cover Sheet (PDF) and the Protected Information Disclosure Form (PDF).

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