UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO THE BAR AND PUBLIC
GUIDANCE FOR IMPLEMENTING PRIVACY-RELATED RULES AND FORM
CHANGES EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2003
As previously posted in two prior notices dated October 15th, and October 27th, 2003, at
its September 2002 session, the Judicial Conference approved proposed amendments to the
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure and Official Bankruptcy Forms which will, inter alia,
implement the conference policy on privacy and public access to electronic case files. These
amendments are scheduled to take effect December 1, 2003.
The amendments are consistent with the Judicial Conference’s September 2001 policy
statement regarding documents in bankruptcy cases. That policy states that such documents
generally should be available electronically with the proviso that the Bankruptcy Code and Rules
should be amended as necessary to allow the Court to collect a debtor’s full Social Security
number but display only the last four digits.
Information regarding the entirety of the Rule and Form amendments, including
the new privacy requirements, is available on the Federal Rulemaking page of the
Judiciary’s website at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/index.html. Click on “Pending Rules
Amendments Waiting Final Action,” and then select “Amendments Submitted to the
Judicial Conference (Sept. 2002).”
The purpose of the two previous privacy-related Notices to the Bar and Public dated
October 15th and October 27, 2003 was to provide a synopsis of the key privacy-related
amendments to the national Bankruptcy Rules and Forms, as well as guidance regarding
their local implementation by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.
The purpose of this third Notice is to provide direction to the bar and public
concerning the responsibilities of debtors and counsel with respect to the submission of a
debtor’s Social Security number pursuant to the amendment to Fed. R.