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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 18-997




[ 204 PA. CODE CH. 213 ]

Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania

[48 Pa.B. 3847]
[Saturday, June 30, 2018]

 Commentary to Section 9.0 of the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System provides in part that, ''The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts [AOPC] shall from time to time publish a list of applicable authorities that restrict public access to court records or information. This list shall be published on the Unified Judicial System's website and in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.'' In accordance with this directive, the AOPC has updated, revised, and retitled the following Limits on Public Access to Unified Judicial System Case Records.

 The entire policy, including this amendment and other related information, can be found on the Unified Judicial System's public records webpage located at

 Filed in the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts on June 15, 2018.

Court Administrator of Pennsylvania

Annex A





 (Editor's Note: The list which appears in 204 Pa. Code pages 213-55—213-64, serial pages (386127)—(386136), is replaced with the following list.)


Subject Area Record Description Accessibility Authority
Civil Jurors Notes. No Public Access. Collected and destroyed post-trial. Pa.R.C.P. No. 223.2.
Commonwealth Court Child Line Registry Cases. No Public Access to documents in the case except Orders and Opinions wherein the court shall use initials of the minor child involved rather than full name. Admin. Order No. 126 Misc. Docket No. 3 (February 8, 2013).
Criminal Juror's Address. No Public Access. Commonwealth v. Long, 922 A.2d 892 (Pa. 2007).
Criminal Sealed affidavit of probable cause for a search warrant. No Public Access while sealed. The affidavit may not be sealed for more than 60 days unless an extension is received. Extensions may not be longer than 30 days, but an unlimited number of extensions are available. Public may access the affidavit after it has been unsealed. Pa.R.Crim.P. 211.
Criminal Unexecuted Search Warrant. No Public Access until warrant is executed. Pa.R.Crim.P. 212(A).
Criminal Arrest Warrant Information. A court may delay public access for good cause for up to 72 hours. In addition, a court may seal arrest warrant information for a longer period of time. Pa.R.Crim.P. 513(C),
Pa.R.Crim.P. 513.1.
Criminal Motion filed by attorney for the Commonwealth to present the matter to an indicting grand jury and subsequent order. No Public Access—the motion and order are sealed. Pa.R.Crim.P. 556.2.
Criminal All indicting grand jury proceedings and related documents. No Public Access. Disclosure may be granted to attorney for the Commonwealth, defendant in a criminal case, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and upon motion when necessary. Pa.R.Crim.P. 556.10.
Criminal Sealed indictments. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 556.11(E).
Criminal Sealed records concerning mental health experts. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 569.
Criminal Sealed written statements pertaining to protective orders. No Public Access. The entire text of the statement shall be sealed and preserved in the records of the court to be made available to the appellate court(s) in the event of an appeal. Pa.R.Crim.P. 573(F).
Criminal Sealed plea agreement. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 590.
Criminal Juror qualification forms. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 625(A)(3).
Criminal Juror information questionnaires. No Public Access. Questionnaires are retained in a sealed file and shall be destroyed upon completion of the jurors' service, unless otherwise ordered by the trial judge. Pa.R.Crim.P. 632.
Criminal Sealed verdict. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 649.
Criminal Notes taken by jurors. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 644(B)(7).
Criminal Pre-sentence reports and related psychiatric psychological reports. No Public Access. Pa.R.Crim.P. 703(A).
Criminal Records revealing the names of human trafficking victims. No Public Access, unless otherwise ordered by a court in a prosecution involving a victim of human trafficking. 18 Pa.C.S. § 3019(a).
Criminal Wiretap applications, final reports and orders. No Public Access except upon showing of good cause before a court of competent jurisdiction. 18 Pa.C.S. § 5715.
Criminal Names of minor victims of sexual or physical abuse. No Public Access. Records revealing a victim's name are sealed. A minor victim who is 18 years of age or older at the time of the commencement of the prosecution may waive this protection and allow the court to release the name of the minor victim. 42 Pa.C.S. § 5988.
Domestic Relations Information regarding the registration, filing of a petition for, or issuance of a protection from abuse in either the issuing or enforcing State. No Public Access via internet publication, if such publication would be likely to publically reveal the identity or location of the protected party. 18 U.S.C. § 2265(d)(3).
Domestic Relations Social security number of any individual subject to a divorce decree, support order, paternity determination, or acknowledgement of paternity, which is required in all records of those matters. No Public Access. 23 Pa.C.S. § 4304.1(a)(3).
Domestic Relations Child Support Records No Public Access, except for PACSES dockets, court orders and opinions. 42 U.S.C. §§ 654(26)(A), 654a(d)(1)(A); 45 CFR §§ 303.21(c)-(d), 307.13(a)(1); 23 Pa.C.S. § 4304.1(d); Sections 2.4 and 3.4 of the Cooperative Agreement.
Domestic Relations (a) Subject to any inconsistent general rules and to the supervision and direction of the court, the domestic relations section shall have the power and duty to:. . . (10) Implement safeguards applicable to all confidential information received by the domestic relations section in order to protect the privacy rights of the parties, including:. . .
(ii) prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another party against whom a protective order with respect to the former party or the child has been entered; and
No Public Access. 23 Pa.C.S. § 4305(a)(10)(ii)-(iii).
(iii) prohibitions against the release of information on the whereabouts of one party or the child to another person if the domestic relations section has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in physical or emotional harm to the party or the child.
Domestic Relations List of weapons ordered to be relinquished by the defendant in an action for protection from abuse. No Public Access, except (A) upon an order of the court granted upon cause shown; (B) as necessary, by law enforcement and court personnel; or (C) after redaction of information listing any firearm, other weapon or ammunition. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108(a)(7)(v).
Domestic Relations All records pertaining to a confidential address for individuals participating in the Office of Victim Advocate's Address Confidentiality Program. No Public Access, except for the substitute address provided by the Office of Victim Advocates. 23 Pa.C.S. § 6703(d); see also 23 Pa.C.S. § 5336(b)(1).
Juvenile Court Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency records. No Public Access; except as set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 6307, Pa.Rs.J.C.P. 160 and/or 1160, including with leave of court. 42 Pa.C.S. § 6307; Pa.Rs.J.C.P. 160, 1160.
Orphans' Court Proceedings related to appointment of guardianship for incapacitated persons. Shall be closed to the public upon request of the alleged incapacitated person or his counsel. After the individual's death his/her estate may access the record of the guardianship proceedings. 20 Pa.C.S. § 5511(a); In re Estate of duPont, 2 A.3d 516 (Pa. 2010).
Orphans' Court Records required for foreign adoption decrees. No Public Access unless a court order is granted upon good cause. 23 Pa.C.S. § 2908(F); Pa.O.C.R. 15.7.
Orphans' Court Adoption records. No Public Access unless otherwise ordered. 23 Pa.C.S. § 2915; see also 23 Pa.C.S. § 2906; Pa.O.C.R. 15.7.
Orphans' Court (Family Court in Philadelphia County or Juvenile Court Section of Family Division in Allegheny County Pa.R.J.A. 2157) Applications of a minor for judicial approval of decision to have an abortion, under the Abortion Control Act, as well as proceedings and the name of the minor. No Public Access; sealed dockets, and documents shall be maintained in a closed file marked ''confidential'' and identified by case number only. 18 Pa.C.S. § 3206(f); Pa.O.C.R. 16.2 and 16.6. Note also Pa.R.J.A. No. 2157 and Pa.R.A.P. 3801.
General For certain offenses graded as a misdemeanor of the second or third degree, any information relating to the conviction, arrest, indictment or other information leading to the conviction, arrest, indictment or other information. No public access. The court shall not release the information to an individual, noncriminal justice agency or an internet website. 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122.1 and amends 18 Pa.C.S. § 9121.
General Records concerning persons in treatment under the Mental Health Procedures Act. Limited Public Access in compliance with the Mental Health Procedures Act and controlling case law. 50 P.S. § 7111.
General Court documents, rules, or orders in Gaming Law proceedings. Any party may request proceeding and record to be sealed if in best interest of any person or Commonwealth. 4 Pa.C.S. § 1518.2(b).
General Proceedings and records involving juveniles charged with a summary offense before the minor judiciary, the Philadelphia Municipal Court or a Court of Common Pleas. No Public Access. 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 6303(c), 6307(c), and 6336(g).
General Transcript of proceedings in the judicial districts within the Unified Judicial System. A court may order the person preparing the transcript to redact confidential, personal and/or financial data and other identifiers and information listed in Section 7.0 of the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System. Pa.R.J.A. No 4014.

 *Note this may not be a complete listing; the public and court staff are directed to consult federal and state statutes, court rules or case law.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 18-997. Filed for public inspection June 29, 2018, 9:00 a.m.]

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