Jul 17, 2019 Top Stories Confidential information under Rule 2.420 expanded Responding to changes in state law, the Supreme Court has required information about petitioners and respondents on domestic violence injunctions to be kept temporarily confidential and expanded information about Baker Act cases that is confidential in court files.The court, acting June 27 on its own motion in Case No. SC19-1049, amended Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420. The rule now identifies 23 categories of information that must be kept out of court records by clerks. It also requires lawyers to identify if their filed documents contain such information.The changes follow expanded public records exemptions approved by the Legislature earlier this year, and which became effective July 1.The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers had sent a letter to the court requesting guidance, noting while the Legislature had passed the exemptions, clerks are only authorized to withhold information at the direction of the courts.The court order broadened exempt information related to the Baker Act. The rule already had exempted Baker Act-related clinical records as defined in F.S. §394.4615(7). The court expanded that rule section to include “all petitions, court orders, and related records under the Baker Act, §394.464, Fla. Stat.”The court created a new section (xxiii) to address the Legislature’s actions on violence injunctions, requiring information be kept confidential until the respondent has been notified. Information to be kept confidential includes: “Information that can be used to identify a petitioner or respondent in a petition for an injunction against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, sexual violence, stalking, or cyberstalking, and any affidavits, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction until the respondent has been personally served with a copy of the petition for injunction, affidavits, notice of hearing, and temporary injunction. § 119.0714(1)(k)3, Fla. Stat.”The court made the amendments effective July 1, and gave interested parties 75 days from the date of the opinion to file comments.