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Order Adopting Revised Procedures for Requesting, Filing, and Management of HSDs & Repealing S.O.21-3, Order on Procedures for the Management of HSDs

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Revised Procedures for Requesting, Filing, and Management of Highly Sensitive Documents; Repeal of Standing Order 21-3, Order on Procedures for the Management of Highly Sensitive Documents

From Standing Order 24-10:           

                On February 4, 2021, in response to disclosures of widespread breaches of both private sector and government computer systems, this Court entered Standing Order 21-3, entitled Order on Procedures for the Management of Highly Sensitive Documents. Standing Order 21-3 adopted procedures for protecting documents containing highly sensitive material that require a greater level of security than that provided by electronically sealing such documents in the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) System.

                Federal courts are updating their security procedures to uniformly protect highly sensitive documents (HSDs), a narrow subset of sealed documents that must, for their protection, be stored outside the Court’s CM/ECF System.

                The Court finds that good cause exists to permit nonelectronic filing of HSDs under Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 5005(a)(2)(A) and 7005 (the latter of which incorporates, inter alia, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5(d)(3)(A)), Local Bankruptcy Rule 5005-2(A), and CM/ECF Policy 6, and to adopt the revised HSD Guidance, Exhibit A, which includes a standard definition of HSDs, a dedicated procedure for filing, serving, and maintaining HSDs, and factors to be considered by judicial officers in determining if a document is an HSD.

Standing Order 24-10 takes effect upon its entry, May 30, 2024. Also, Standing Order 21-3 is repealed, as of this date, and has been archived on the Court’s internet website’s Standing Orders webpage, under the Archived District Standing Orders header.

Except as set forth in Standing Order 24-10, CM/ECF Policy 6, Sealed Documents; Motion to Redact a Previously Files document, continues to apply and shall remain in full force and effect.

Further, Standing Order 24-10 provides:

                [T]hat, effective as of the date of this Order and until such time as the Court orders otherwise, notwithstanding the original form of the HSD, HSDs will be filed and served: (i) in paper form or, (ii) only if the document cannot be filed in paper form, in digital media, on a secure electronic device, such as a flash drive, in accordance with this Order and the HSD Guidance, and will be maintained by the Clerk’s Office in a secure paper filing system or secure standalone computer system that is not connected to any network.

[Read Standing Order 24-10 and its appended Exhibit A-Highly Sensitive Documents Definition & Guidance PDF.]