A new Supreme Court Rule is effective January 1, 2012. Rule 138 prohibits including a social security number on a pleading or other document filed with the court. If a social security number is required – by law or court order – only the last four digits are to appear on the filing and the filing is to be accompanied by a separate document that includes the full social security number. The rule provides a form for this document which is titled “Notice of Confidential Information within Court Filing.” The court clerk is required to keep the “Notice” separate from the court file and confidential from everyone except the parties to the action.
The comment to the rule explains that it was adopted pursuant to section 40 of the Identify Protection Act (5 ILCS 179/40) which required the Supreme Court to adopt rules to regulate disclosure of social security numbers. The Identity Protection Act was effective June 10, 2010.
Submitted by Brian D. Moore, Class of ‘92