The Brief - March 2015

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The Brief

Vol. 11, No. 2                                                                                                            March 2015

Filing under seal

Requests and orders to file a document under seal are few and far between, compared to the millions of filings the Clerk receives each year. Some basics to keep in mind if the need arises in your practice:

Bring your original petition and the relevant documents on paper directly to your assigned judicial officer for review and determination. This prevents the information from inadvertently being scanned-in to the public record during review. Division staff will work with the courtroom clerk to get the originals filed.

Any documents ordered to be filed under seal must be filed on paper. Putting these documents in an envelope and attaching a copy of the order to seal to the outside of the envelope alerts Clerk staff of the special handling required.

Filers are responsible for their filings. Clerk staff file documents as they are received. Sensitive or restricted information contained within documents will be accessible by the public if the filing party overlooks a filing requirement. Clerk staff do not alter, modify or redact the content of records without a court order.

For more detailed information on sealed documents and sensitive information contained within records, see the Clerk’s Corner article in the April 2015 edition of the Maricopa Lawyer. Past Clerk’s Corner articles are posted on the Clerk’s website at

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Fonts, Filings and Fixes

When converting your word processer documents into PDF format for filing, remember to check the final PDF for accuracy. During the conversion process, some software products create symbols in place of words or were originally typed in a font that is not supported in the PDF product. By opening the converted PDF before filing you should see any error messages or variant fonts that need to be corrected. Converted PDFs with symbols instead of words could be rejected or filed-in to the official case record. Periodically checking converted PDFs or checking the final PDF after you’ve used a new version of software will limit the chance of these problems.