Q During the past few weeks I have had an individual who comes into my office asking for verifications on social security numbers. He comes to our court with a docket and page number and wants us to identify their information with the information we have in our computers. What are my obligations concerning this matter?

A Court records are “public records” as defined by statute and, as such, are available for inspection by any person unless exempt by law or protected by an order of the court. Under Section 25-1-111, social security numbers are generally required to be redacted, but limited disclosure is allowed to persons “who, in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, have a lawful and legitimate need to know the individual’s social security number.” Permitting such limited disclosure requires that the public body or public officer in possession of the records exercise careful judgment in determining whether the requestor’s need for the records is consistent with the language of Section 25-1-111. Oftentimes, a legitimate request seeking a record for the purpose of confirming a social security number can be satisfied by redacting the first five or six digits and leaving only the last few digits visible. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Berryman, March 22, 2013)


An individual comes to our court and wants us to verify their information with the information we have in our computers. What are my obligations concerning this matter?