Beginning on September 22, judges in Illinois will be able to have personal information removed from websites and public documents. Governor Pat Quinn has signed the Michael Lefkow and Donna Humphrey Judicial Privacy Improvement Act of 2012.
The law is named after the husband and mother of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow, who were murdered in 2005. Law enforcement authorities believe that they were killed in retaliation for Lefkow having dismissed a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Under the new law, Illinois judges may submit written requests to businesses, organizations and government bodies to remove their personal information, or that of their immediate families, from websites and other documents available to the public. Private parties will have three days to comply with the request, while government agencies must act within five business days.
Personal information covered under the law includes home addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, banking information, social security numbers, marital status and names of minor children.
Judges may also request that personal information be redacted from public records requests. Beginning January 1, they will be able to list their office addresses, rather than home addresses, on driver’s licenses.
The Lefkow case focused attention on the safety of judges both in Illinois and on the national level. Shortly after the murders, Lefkow testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and urged Congress to act. In 2007, the Judicial Disclosure Responsibility Act was passed, allowing the redaction of some of judges’ personal information from financial disclosure reports.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical
malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call
1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.