California Official Court Reporters Association

Professional Practice : Jury Redaction

Jury Redaction Tips

Code of Civil Procedure 237 provides that the names and other information of trial jurors and alternate jurors shall be redacted from the reporter’s transcript upon the entry of a verdict in criminal cases after January 1, 1997. California Rule of Court 31.3 provides direction for compliance with CCP 237.

  • CCP 237 does not apply to civil cases.
  • CCP 237 does not require the court reporter to redact the names of prospective jurors or prospective alternate jurors unless ordered by the Court.
  • CCP 237 does not require the court reporter to redact the names of jurors or alternate jurors in a transcript when distributed prior to a verdict.
  • Jury redaction requires the court reporter to redact or substitute an identification number for jurors’ and alternate jurors’ names in a transcript distributed after a verdict is entered.
  • The identification number used by the court reporter must match the identification number used in the clerk’s confidential key linking the names of jurors and alternate jurors to identification numbers.
  • The identification number must be particular for each individual juror and alternate juror. This ensures the redacted transcript on appeal maintains the integrity of speaker identification as reflected by the trial record.
  • The identification number must contain the same amount of characters as the juror’s title and last name. For example, Mr. Smith contains nine characters, including the blank space between “Mr.” and “Smith”. This ensures that line and page numbering of the pre-verdict transcript will be unaltered by the redaction process when, for example, the transcript goes up on appeal.

Examples:

Mr. Romero, Trial Juror #1, will be TRJ01XXXXX
Juror Kelly-Frye, Trial Juror #12, will be TRJ12XXXXXXXXXXX
Ms. Boykin, Trial Juror #6, will be TJ06XXXXXX
Geraldine Jones, Alternate Juror #1, will be TRAJ1XXXXXXXXXX
Ms. Miranda, Alternate Juror #2, will be TAJ2XXXXXX

237. (a) (1) The names of qualified jurors drawn from the qualified juror list for the superior court shall be made available to the public upon request unless the court determines that a compelling interest, as defined in subdivision (b), requires that this information should be kept confidential or its use limited in whole or in part.

(2) Upon the recording of a jury’s verdict in a criminal jury proceeding, the court’s record of personal juror identifying information of trial jurors, as defined in Section 194, consisting of names, addresses, and telephone numbers, shall be sealed until further order of the court as provided by this section.

(3) For purposes of this section, “sealed” or “sealing” means extracting or otherwise removing the personal juror identifying information from the court record.

(4) This subdivision applies only to cases in which a jury verdict was returned on or after January 1, 1996.

(b) Any person may petition the court for access to these records. The petition shall be supported by a declaration that includes facts sufficient to establish good cause for the release of the juror’s personal identifying information. The court shall set the matter for hearing if the petition and supporting declaration establish a prima facie showing of good cause for the release of the personal juror identifying information, but shall not set the matter for hearing if there is a showing on the record of facts that establish a compelling interest against disclosure. A compelling interest includes, but is not limited to, protecting jurors from threats or danger of physical harm. If the court does not set the matter for hearing, the court shall by minute order set forth the reasons and make express findings either of a lack of a prima facie showing of good cause or the presence of a compelling interest against disclosure.

(c) If a hearing is set pursuant to subdivision (b), the petitioner shall provide notice of the petition and the time and place of the hearing at least 20 days prior to the date of the hearing to the parties in the criminal action. The court shall provide notice to each affected former juror by personal service or by first-class mail, addressed to the last known address of the former juror as shown in the records of the court. In a capital case, the petitioner shall also serve notice on the Attorney General. Any affected former juror may appear in person, in writing, by telephone, or by counsel to protest the granting of the petition. A former juror who wishes to appear at the hearing to oppose the unsealing of the personal juror identifying information may request the court to close the hearing in order to protect the former juror’s anonymity.

(d) After the hearing, the records shall be made available as requested in the petition, unless a former juror’s protest to the granting of the petition is sustained. The court shall sustain the protest of the former juror if, in the discretion of the court, the petitioner fails to show good cause, the record establishes the presence of a compelling interest against disclosure as defined in subdivision (b), or the juror is unwilling to be contacted by the petitioner. The court shall set forth reasons and make express findings to support the granting or denying of the petition to disclose. The court may require the person to whom disclosure is made, or his or her agent or employee, to agree not to divulge jurors’ identities or identifying information to others; the court may otherwise limit disclosure in any manner it deems appropriate.

(e) Any court employee who has legal access to personal juror identifying information sealed under subdivision (a), who discloses the information, knowing it to be a violation of this section or a court order issued under this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(f) Any person who intentionally solicits another to unlawfully access or disclose personal juror identifying information contained in records sealed under subdivision (a) knowing that the records have been sealed or who, knowing that the information was unlawfully secured, intentionally discloses it to another person, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

CRC 31.3. Juror-identifying information

(a) Applicability

A clerk’s transcript, a reporter’s transcript, or any other document in the record that contains juror-identifying information must comply with this rule.

(b) Juror names, addresses, and telephone numbers

(1) The name of each trial juror or alternate sworn to hear the case must be replaced with an identifying number wherever it appears in any document. The superior court clerk must prepare and keep under seal in the case file a table correlating the jurors’ names with their identifying numbers. The clerk and the reporter must use the table in preparing all transcripts or other documents.

(2) The addresses and telephone numbers of trial jurors and alternates sworn to hear the case must be deleted from all documents.

(c) Potential jurors
Information identifying potential jurors called but not sworn as trial jurors or alternates must not be sealed unless otherwise ordered under Code of Civil Procedure section 237(a)(1).

Rule 31.3 adopted effective January 1, 2004.