Public Record Update
May 2013
New Redaction Law - Illinois Civil Case Documents
Effective July 1, 2013, personal identify information will not be allowed in documents or exhibits filed for proceedings in Illinois civil court cases. Per Supreme Court Rule 138, Personal Identity Information is defined as following:
  • Birth Dates
  • Social Security numbers
  • Mother's maiden names
  • Driver's license numbers
  • Financial account numbers
  • Debit and credit card numbers
The key piece element to those using public records in their normal course of business is the redaction of birth dates. Without even a partial DOB to use as a match, it will be a struggle to properly identify a person and avoid a false-positive. But this element is quite common in civil records.

The rule also states: "A court may order other types of information redacted or filed confidentially, consistent with the purpose and procedures of this rule."

If a document is filed with personal information, the person whose personal identity is affected may move that the court redact the information. If granted, the court will still have a sealed copy of the unredacted document.

A copy of Rule 138 is found at:

Criminal Records: Ban the Box Coming to Minnesota
The Governor of Minnesota recently signed an extensive revision to the state's existing "ban the box" law. This new law will take affect January 1, 2014.

The current law prohibits only public employers from inquiring or considering a criminal record of an applicant for public employment, per certain conditions. Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 364.021, is now amended to read as follows:
  • A public or private employer may not inquire into or consider or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant for employment until the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or, if there is not an interview, before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.
  • This section does not apply to the Department of Corrections or to employers who have a statutory duty to conduct a criminal history background check or otherwise take into consideration a potential employee's criminal history during the hiring process.
  • This section does not prohibit an employer from notifying applicants that law or the employer's policy will disqualify an individual with a particular criminal history background from employment in particular positions.
To view the law (SF523) in its entirety, visit:

Recorded Documents News
Wisconsin To Increase Recording Fees Statewide
An amendment to the 2013-2015 budget bill calls for a $5.00 increase to record or file instruments with the county Register of Deeds.

The Joint Finance Committee adopted an amendment as part of the "budget bill" which will increase the deeds fee at the local level by $5.00. The effective date is July 1, 2013. The final version proposed by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, slightly modified compared to the Governor's original proposal, passed by a 16-0 vote.

To view the original law, the Governor's original proposal, and Committee's recommended amendment language, see #105 - Register of Deeds Fees and Statewide Digital Parcel Map.

Thank you to Ms. Katie Stenze, the Public Affairs Coordinator for the State Bar of Washington, for her insight on reporting this pending law.

Livingston County, Illinois Increasing Recording Fees
A Cost Study by the Livingston County Assessment Office has led to an increase in the cost of recording documents effective July 1,2013.

The cost for recording up to 4 pages that meet standardization requirements will increase from $35.00 to $41.00. For details see:

Resources For Searching Non-Profits and Foundations
Below are several recommended organizations that are quite helpful for finding information on non-profits and similar business entities.This information is from the soon to be released (July 1, 2013) 3rd Edition of the Manual to Online Public Records by Cynthia Hetherington and Michael Sankey.

  1. GuideStar ( is a great starting point to find detailed financial information about non-profits. It also offers free access to basic information on 1.8 million non-profits. Registration is required. GuideStar's fee-searching content includes searchable data from IRS Forms 990 and the IRS Business Master File, including comprehensive facts on employee compensation and grant activity.
  2. Capital Research Center (CRC), established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, provides a free database search of non-profits including associated activists and directors. See
  3. The Foundation Center is a national organization that serves as an authoritative source of information on foundation and corporate giving. See
  4. Enterprise Resources Database website provides fundraising tools with plenty of good information on how to find qualified prospects to donate money and help with fundraising. The site's search of qualifying potential donors is quite useful as reference resource for finding personal and business assets and financial relationships. See
  5. NOZA is advertised as the world's largest searchable database of charitable donors. They help subscribers find donations. See
  6. Charity Navigator is an independent charity evaluator, with ongoing evaluations on over 6,000 of the largest charities in the U.S. See
Door Prizes for State Trade Association Events
If you are involved with an upcoming event for a investigative or legal state organization, and would like a donation of products as door prizes, please contact Michael Sankey at Please identify yourself, the group, the date, and the number of attendees.

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