The Texas Supreme Court has issued new rules changing the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, specifically, Rule 21c dealing with privacy protection for filed documents. The most recent version of these rules was signed in December, 2013, and can be found by clicking here or on the Texas Supreme Court website. Make sure you are looking at the most recent version as the Tex. Sup. Ct. released another different version of these changes over the Summer.
These changes require, among other things, that any drivers license numbers, social security numbers, birthdays, home addresses of minors, bank account information, credit card information, or other financial account information be removed from a public document unless it’s required to be in the document by another specific rule. You can leave this information in the document but it must have a stamp on the upper left side of the front page that says specifically “Notice: This Document Contains Sensitive Data.” I have already been chastised by the good clerks of Travis County for not following this in my recent filings. Learn from my mistake and realize that yes, they are checking and following the new rules!
I have found that an inserted Word Art box with the necessary notice language on the top left of the first page usually solves the issue. Until the e-filing services create an easy check box for e-filers to otherwise notify the clerk of the sensitive nature of the filed document, this will have to do for the time being.