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2017 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.90. Privacy in opinions

(a) Application

(1)This rule provides guidance on the use of names in appellate court opinions.

(2)Reference to juveniles in juvenile court proceedings is governed by rule 8.401(a).

(3)Where other laws establish specific privacy-protection requirements that differ from the provisions in this rule, those specific requirements supersede the provisions in this rule.

(b) Persons protected

To protect personal privacy interests, in all opinions, the reviewing court should consider referring to the following people by first name and last initial or, if the first name is unusual or other circumstances would defeat the objective of anonymity, by initials only:

(1)Children in all proceedings under the Family Code and protected persons in domestic violence–prevention proceedings;

(2)Wards in guardianship proceedings and conservatees in conservatorship proceedings;

(3)Patients in mental health proceedings;

(4)Victims in criminal proceedings;

(5)Protected persons in civil harassment proceedings under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.6;

(6)Protected persons in workplace violence–prevention proceedings under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.8;

(7)Protected persons in private postsecondary school violence–prevention proceedings under Code of Civil Procedure section 527.85;

(8)Protected persons in elder or dependent adult abuse–prevention proceedings under Welfare and Institutions Code section 15657.03;

(9)Minors or persons with disabilities in proceedings to compromise the claims of a minor or a person with a disability;

(10)Persons in other circumstances in which personal privacy interests support not using the person's name; and

(11)Persons in other circumstances in which use of that person's full name would defeat the objective of anonymity for a person identified in (1)–(10).

Rule 8.90 adopted effective January 1, 2017.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (b)(1)–(9) lists people in proceedings under rule 8.83 for which remote electronic access to records-except dockets or registers of actions, calendars, opinions, and certain Supreme Court records-may not be provided. If the court maintains these records in electronic form, electronic access must be provided at the courthouse only, to the extent it is feasible to do so. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.83(c).) Subdivision (b)(1)–(9) recognizes the privacy considerations of certain persons subject to the proceedings listed in rule 8.83(c). Subdivision (b)(10) recognizes people in circumstances other than the listed proceedings, such as witnesses, in which the court should consider referring to a person by first name and last initial, or, if the first name is unusual or other circumstances would defeat the objective of protecting personal privacy interests, by initials. Subdivision (b)(11) recognizes people in circumstances other than the listed proceedings, such as relatives, in which the court should consider referring to a person by first name and last initial or by initials if the use of that person's full name would identify another person whose personal privacy interests support remaining anonymous.

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