Citing privacy worries, Florida’s highest court moved this week to slow the flow of court documents posted to the Internet.
The order — written by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead — blocks the posting of certain court documents until a court-appointed committee creates a state-wide policy for putting the files online, reports the Miami Herald.
The move to limit information in a state that prizes itself on its broad open records law was spurred by fears that confidential information is reaching web browsers — not just the steamy details of messy divorces, but Social Security numbers and other information that is not public record, but often turns up in court files.
The moratorium is expected to have little immediate impact on those who depend on electronic access to the courts because it does not block the posting of court dockets, calendars, traffic cases or of ”official records,” such as real estate transactions, judgements and liens, the Herald says.
And it allows chief judges to post court records of ”significant public interest” — as long as any confidential material has been scrubbed.