Rule 1930.1. Form of Caption. Confidential Information and Confidential Documents. Certification.
(a) Form of Caption.
(1) Except as set forth in subdivision (2), the caption in a domestic relations matter shall include the parties full names. The form of the caption shall be substantially in the following form:
In the Court of Common Pleas of ____________ County, Pennsylvania.
Party As full name, ) ) Plaintiff ) vs. ) No. (Docket number) ) Party Bs full name, ) ) Defendant )
(Title of Pleading)
(2) In a custody action, the court may order that the case caption contain the parties initials rather than the parties names based on the sensitive nature of the facts in the case record and the childs best interest.
See Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.10(b)(3).
(b) Unless public access is otherwise constrained by applicable authority, any attorney, or any party if unrepresented, who files a document pursuant to these rules with the prothonotarys office shall comply with the requirements of Sections 7.0 and 8.0 of the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania (Policy) including a certification of compliance with the Policy and, as necessary, a Confidential Information Form or a Confidential Document Form in accordance with the Policy.
Applicable authority includes but is not limited to statute, procedural rule, or court order. The Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania (Policy) can be found on the website of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania at https://www.pacourts.us/public-records. Sections 7.0(D) and 8.0(D) of the Policy provide that the certification shall be in substantially the following form:
I certify that this filing complies with the provisions of the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania that require filing confidential information and documents differently than non-confidential information and documents.
The Confidential Information Form and the Confidential Document Form can be found at https://www.pacourts.us/public-records.
Subdivision (a)(1) requires that the parties full names are used in a domestic relations case caption unless the court determines it necessary to protect the childs identity by initializing the case caption in a custody action based on sensitive facts in the case and the childs best interest. Generally, a child custody case does not include sensitive information or egregious facts that would cause embarrassment to a child and necessitate exceptional privacy measures; however, in the unusual circumstance that a custody action has egregious facts that may cause an issue for the child, the trial court would have the discretion to initialize the caption in order to maintain the childs privacy interests.
Subdivision (a)(2) provides the exception to the general rule in subdivision (a)(1) for a custody action in which the court deems that the child could be adversely affected by the sensitive nature of the facts in the record. In a custody case in which the trial court determines the childs best interest requires an initialized caption, Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915-10(b)(4) requires that additional privacy safeguards are in the written custody order or opinion entered by the court.
The rules requirement that a case caption use the parties full names does not alter a partys or an attorneys responsibilities under the Case Records Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania and subdivision (b).
The provisions of this Rule 1930.1 adopted December 2, 1994, effective March 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 6293; amended January 5, 2018, effective January 6, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 477; amended June 1, 2018, effective July 1, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 3520; amended October 22, 2020, effective January 1, 2021, 50 Pa.B. 6199; amended December 1, 2021, effective January 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 7620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (403257) to (403258).
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