Nevada High Court Reviews Rules For Sealing Civil Court Cases

Civil court records will remain open unless a compelling case can be made for sealing them, under a proposal submitted by a reform panel to the Nevada Supreme Court.

The plan, termed "an important experiment in open government" by Chief Justice Bill Maupin, is expected to be adopted once a written comment period closes on Dec. 21.

The policy, from the Nevada Supreme Court Commission on Preservation, Access and Sealing of Court Records, allows anyone,
whether a party to the case or not, to request the unsealing of a
court record.

Washoe County District Judge Brent Adams, who chaired the commission, says the rule will serve as "a good practical guide" for Nevada judges and is line with the overarching concept that courts are public institutions.

Before a record could be sealed, a judge would have to make a written finding based on a balancing test to see whether that's justified by "compelling privacy or safety interests that outweigh the public interest in access to the court record."