This page has information about the court’s new form Notice Regarding Restricted Information Pursuant to Rule 20-201.1 (MDJ-008) hereafter referred to as the “Restricted Information Form.” This form must be completed and filed when you file any court documents that contain restricted information.
What is restricted information?
In general, court cases and documents are open to the public. This means that anyone can view the case file at the courthouse. Some information about the case is also online through Maryland Judiciary Case Search and Maryland’s electronic case filing system MDEC. More information about access to court records can be found here.
Sometimes a part of a document, the entire document, or even the entire case is defined by law as restricted information. This information is not open to the public.
There are many different types of restricted information. Here are a few common examples of restricted information:
|Types of cases where the entire file is restricted (the public may not view the file)||Documents in a court file that are restricted (the public may view the case file except these documents)||Information in a document that is restricted (the public may view the document, but this information will be redacted)|
What is the Restricted Information Form?
The person filing documents with the court is responsible for letting the court know if the documents, or their contents, are restricted. Complete the Restricted Information Form to let the court know that you are submitting something that Maryland law requires the court keep private.
This is not the same as asking the court to keep something private that would ordinally be open to the public. In these situations, you must submit a request to either seal or shield that document. The Restricted Information form is usually submitted along with a request to seal or shield.
When do I need to fill out the Restricted Information Form?
The Restricted Information Form is required if the document you are filing is restricted or has restricted information. It is up to you to review your documents closely for information that is restricted. Determining what is and is not restricted can be difficult. This page lists some of the most common situations when you may need to complete the form.
Note: The form is not required in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, or Prince George’s County. If your case is in one of these counties, do not complete the form. Additionally, you are not required to complete the form for cases that are always kept private by the courts. These are:
- Emergency Evaluations;
- Extreme Risk Protective Orders;
- Guardianship of a Child; and
- Juvenile Court cases.
When Part of Your Filing is Restricted
Sometimes a document you are filing with the court includes information or an attachment that is restricted. Complete the Restricted Information Form if you are filing documents that include any of the following:
- A medical report from a doctor or health care professional
- Tax returns
- A Social Security Number or Federal Tax ID number
- Financial or medical account numbers
Redacting Restricted Information
You may file a document that contains some restricted information, but the entire document is not restricted. In these situations, you must file both a redacted and an unredacted copy. Redacted means that the restricted information is not visible. For instance, you may file a motion that lists your full bank account number. The bank account number is restricted but the rest of your motion is not. In this case, you should:
- Complete the Restricted Information Form. Be sure to include the reason why the information is restricted.
- File one copy of the document that is not redacted, meaning that the restricted information is visible. Include in the title of the document “unredacted--to be shielded.”
- File at least one copy that is redacted, meaning that the restricted information is not visible. Include in the title of the document the word “redacted.”
Common Court Forms that Must be Accompanied by a Restricted Information Form
Most of the time, you will complete a Restricted Information Form to accompany another standard court form. Here is a list of the most common court forms that must be accompanied by the Notice Regarding Restricted Information:
- Financial statements in family law cases:
- Parenting plans in child custody cases including:
- Requests to waive court costs
- A request to seal or shield a court record – Where a document or part of a document is not automatically restricted by law, you may ask the court to restrict access to the information. This is called a request to seal or shield. The court may keep your request and documents related to the request private for up to five days after filing. If the request is granted, the document will remain unavailable to the public. Below is a list of forms used to request a seal or shield which must be accompanied by the Restricted Information Form.
- Cases subject to a seal or shield – If the court grants a request to seal or shield an entire case, then you must complete a Restricted Information Form each time you wish to file documents in that case. For information on sealing, shielding, and limiting access to court records see the Access to Court Records page.
- Request for Accommodation for Person with Disability – The Restricted Information Form is only required if you have asked the court to keep your request for an accommodation confidential.