Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On December 6, 2021, the Michigan Supreme Court adopted a rule – ADM File No. 2017-28 – that will amend an order of May 22, 2019, amending Rule 1.109 of the Michigan Court Rules regarding the redaction of dates of birth (DOBs) from court records used as identifiers by background screening firms. The rule takes effect April 1, 2022.

Under ADM File No. 2017-28, the Michigan State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) “will maintain a list of authorized individuals who may have access to a party’s date of birth contained in a court record for purposes of verifying the identity of that particular person without the need to present a stipulation to the court.”

Authorized individuals must identify the entity for which they work, ensure that they seek verification of a DOB in the course of their work and with that subject’s consent, and submit proof of their employer’s or hiring entity’s current professional liability insurance. Courts also must verify the identity of any authorized individual.

The rule addressed concerns brought forth by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) – a non-profit trade organization representing the background screening industry – about the original proposed rule, ADM File No. 2020-26, which would have prohibited the display of DOBs in court records throughout Michigan.

Background screening firms are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires them to match personal identifiers such as DOBs to a background check subject to ensure accuracy. If identifiers cannot be matched, a report cannot be generated, and ADM File No. 2020-26 had raised concerns from the PBSA.

Comments may be submitted by April 1, 2022, by clicking on the “Comment on this Proposal” link under ADM File No. 2017-28 on the Court’s Proposed & Adopted Orders on Administrative Matters page. Comments may also be submitted in writing at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, MI 48909 or via email at [email protected].

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