Procedures Available to File and Retain Highly Sensitive Documents Outside of CM/ECF

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

In response to recent disclosures of wide-spread breaches of both private sector and government computer systems, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has entered General Order 21-01, which sets forth procedures for a party to move to have one or more documents treated as highly sensitive documents. Documents that a judge has ordered to be treated as highly sensitive will reside in a secure paper filing system and/or a secure standalone computer system that is not connected to any network and will not reside on the Court’s CM/ECF system. As a result, these documents will be available only in person at the clerk’s office.

Parties should use these procedures sparingly. With the exception of applications for search warrants, applications for electronic surveillance under 18 U.S.C. § 2518, and documents related to cooperation in criminal cases, there is a strong presumption that documents are not highly sensitive. More details are set forth in General Order 21-01.