Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records Overview
The mission of the Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records (Commission) is to establish guidelines for the courts on the preservation, retention, and destruction of court records and evidence, and to support the importance of a transparent court system, while balancing privacy interests with public access to court records. The Commission is currently working on revising the 1996 Local Courts Record Retention Manual. The Commission has completed the Retention Schedule for Court Administrative Records and a Protocol for Retention and Storage and Destruction of Evidence, which will be part of the new Courts' Record Retention Manual. Both the Retention Schedule for Court Administrative Records and a Protocol for Retention and Storage and Destruction of Evidence can be found on the Documents and Forms link at the top of the webpage.
The final piece of the manual, the Retention Schedule for Court Adjudicatory Records, is being developed by the Commission. When the Retention Schedule for Court Adjudicatory Records is completed, these three documents will be combined into the new Revised Manual.
On July 8, 2008, ADKT 410 was filed establishing the Study Committee on the Retention of Court Records. This Commission, chaired by Chief Justice James W. Hardesty, reconstitutes the Commission on Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records. The prior Commission, chaired by Judge Brent Adams, focused on the establishment of rules for the sealing of court records, as well as addressing issues regarding the access to court records. The Order Adopting the Rules of Sealing and Redacting Court Records (ADKT 410) was filed December 31, 2007, and an amendment was made to the Supreme Court Rules, effective January 1, 2008. The Order established guidelines for the sealing and redaction of court records in civil actions.
In the fall of 2008, the reconstituted Commission began addressing record retention and access issues. This standing Supreme Court Commission will actively address ongoing issues with the Preservation, Access, and Sealing of Court Records.
The record retention issues include:
- Cataloging and defining administrative and adjudicatory court records;
- Retention periods for each category of administrative and adjudicatory court record;
- Identification of best medium for retention of court records;
- How to address ever-changing technology issues, and how to apply technology to court record retention (as well as access to court records);
- Determination of historical value of court records, and their storage and retention issues;
- Policy regarding retention of objects lodged with the courts, but not deemed to be evidence or exhibits;
- Policy for destruction of any court records;
- Evidence and exhibit storage, and retention and destruction of such records.
The access issues include:
- What court records should be available online;
- What fees, if any, should be charged for providing court records;
- Who should have access to electronic court records, and whether there should be defined categories of people having different levels of access;
- Who is responsible for the redaction of personal identifiers in court records;
- Who ultimately owns court information once it has passed into the possession of a third party;
- How technology differences among courts will impact access and distribution of electronic records.
This list is not all-inclusive, and the Commission will address other issues regarding preservation and access to court records as the Commission deems necessary.
Public Record Requests
According to the Policy on Public Access to Administrative Records, public record requests must be made be made in writing, utilizing the Application for Access to Administrative Records. A response to the request will be received within 5 judicial days.
Administrative Office of the Courts
201 S. Carson Street, Suite 250
Carson City NV 89701-4702
Phone: (775) 687-9807
Fax: (775) 687-9811