Identity theft is a state crime. Yet …
Louisiana state courts are a veritable goldmine for the identity thief. There are no rules, at least on the criminal side, that require the redaction of social security numbers, driver license numbers, etc., from filings made in criminal proceedings. If you’ve been prosecuted, all of your information…your name, address, social security number, and often driver license number, are all in the public record. Anyone can access that information.
That DUI prosecution can cost you a lot more than you know.
Federal courts and some other state courts have redaction requirements. It’s time for the Louisiana state court system to step up. Else, isn’t it apart of the theft itself?
Meanwhile, what can you do? If you’re involved in any litigation, civil or criminal, in a court that does not have rules promulgated requiring that your SSN must be redacted, at least to the last four digits, make one of your first motions a request for such, BEFORE anything is filed containing your digits.
Here is a link to a legal blog from Oklahoma that addresses the topic.
Here is a link to a site that monitors privacy rights; it lists by state the myriad rules. See also this site, NCSL. Louisiana doesn’t have any rules that require redaction in court filings. According to NCSC, there have been federal laws proposed to goad states into protecting privacy, but I don’t see where any have been passed into law.
The Louisiana Constitution expressly declares privacy and individual dignity as protected rights. Silence beyond words.
Kathryn S. Bloomfield