Public records

Effective May 28, 2020

INTRODUCTION

Trellis uses personal information responsibly and strives to protect privacy rights. All data in our public records databases are supplied by courts and government agencies. We do not add personal information collected from individuals to our public records services and products.

Trellis makes personal information available for legitimate uses by lawyers, businesses and the legal industry. That means we adhere to the principles in this Public Records Privacy Statement and comply with the requirements of statutes such as the U.S. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB) and the U.S. Driver's Privacy Protection Act. Trellis limits access to nonpublic and Social Security number (SSN) information, and may terminate access to any user who misuses Public Records. Public Records provided by Trellis are used to identify and clarify relationships among businesses, people and assets. Trellis is not a consumer credit reporting agency. Therefore, we do not:

  • Maintain any databases of nonpublic individual financial data such as individual credit reports, income tax records, or bank information
  • Collect or distribute information about any person's religious preference or health
  • Collect any person's medical records

II. DEFINITIONS:

  1. "Public Records" are records that are created and maintained by government agencies and are open for public inspection; Examples include:
    • Court records (filings)
    • Court dockets
    • Judicial rulings
  2. "Nonpublic Information" is information about an individual obtained from a source that is privately or publicly owned and is not available to the general public. Examples include Social Security Numbers and similar government-issued identification numbers.
  3. "Publicly Available Information" is information about an individual from non-governmental sources that is available to the general public. Sources include:
    • Newspapers and other publications
    • Telephone directories
    • Classified ads
  4. "Personally Identifiable Information" is information about a person that identifies or is directly attributed to that person. Personally Identifiable Information is contained in Public Records, Nonpublic Information and Publicly Available Information. Examples include:
    • A person's name
    • Address
    • Date of birth
    • Social Security Numbers

 

III. DO WE DISTRIBUTE NONPUBLIC INFORMATION TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

Trellis republishes public court records. Trellis users, and subscribers, when appropriate, include law firms, legal and compliance departments, governmental agencies and municipalities, individuals representing themselves and/or otherwise involved in litigation or interested in state court data and litigation analytics.

 

IV. HOW DO WE SECURE PUBLIC RECORDS AND PERSONAL INFORMATION?

Trellis does not provide users access to personal information unless such information is maintained and previously published within the public court record.

 

V. WHAT STEPS DO WE TAKE TO INFORM EMPLOYEES AND USERS ABOUT APPROPRIATE USE OF OUR SERVICES AND PRODUCTS?

Trellis takes steps to inform our employees and users about appropriate use of our public record services and products. We take internal measures to bridge awareness of:

  • Responsible use of Public Records, Nonpublic Information and Publicly Available information;

 

VI. HOW DO WE ACQUIRE PUBLIC RECORDS AND NONPUBLIC INFORMATION?

Trellis collects Public Records from established sources in the government and judiciary. In some cases, this occurs under agreement with those suppliers. The terms of use and information protection requirements within those agreements may be more stringent or limiting than requirements in applicable law.

 

VII. ARE OUR RECORDS ACCURATE?

Trellis takes reasonable steps to accurately reproduce data we receive from suppliers. However, sometimes this data may contain errors. While some data suppliers and government entities will entertain requests for changes from members of the general public, many will only acknowledge and consider requests for changes when they are submitted by re-publishers such as Trelis. Therefore, if you find an error related to Nonpublic Information or Public Records, please contact the applicable court directly regarding any changes, once the public record has been amended, please submit the Notice of Errata, and the corrected court record to Trellis. Changes to public records that have not been approved and/or granted by the applicable issuing court will not be updated within Trellis’ database.

VIII. CAN I HAVE MY PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION REMOVED?

You may request your Personally Identifiable Information be removed from Trellis’ public records database. However, it is important to note that un-sanctioned removal of information contained in public court records compromises the integrity of our services and products, in part because legal services providers rely on the accuracy and completeness of our database.

Trellis will immediately remove any information contained within a court record which have been subject to an order to seal by the presiding judge. Trellis may redact identifiable personal information (despite such information being publicly available and published by the applicable court) where a valid redaction request has been submitted. In evaluating such requests, it must be determined whether the person in question:

  • Has obtained an order to seal from the presiding judge;
  • Is a judge, public official or member of law enforcement.

 

In order to consider such requests, we require a redaction request to be submitted through our website, a written explanation substantiating the request. Depending on the nature of the request, the person will be required to provide:

  • Copies of credentials (verifying his/her position in law enforcement or public office); and/or
  • Letters from supervisors (required when the requestor is a member of law enforcement or a public official); and/or
  • Police reports or court orders (regarding potential physical harm); and/or
  • Police reports or letters from credit reporting companies (regarding identity theft).

Additional questions about who can request redaction of their personal information or what kind of documentation is required, may be directed to Trellis at: 2856 Colorado Ave Santa Monica, CA 90404. Once a request to remove personal information has either been granted or denied, that decision will be communicated to the requestor in writing, as appropriate.

IX. NOTICE

This Public Records Privacy Statement may be revised without notice. If our information practices change in a significant way, we will post the changes here.