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What if the judge allows my Motion to Impound my contact or other sensitive information?

Produced by Mass Law Reform Institute
Reviewed May 2021

If the judge allows your motion to impound, they will make an “order of impoundment.”The order will say exactly what information the court will impound. The public cannot see anything that is impounded. The order may also say who else cannot see the impounded information. For example, the order may say the other side and their lawyer cannot see the impounded information.

Sometimes, the order will explain how the information will be impounded. For example, the order may say to put the information in an envelope and mark it “impounded.” The order may say to leave the information out, black it out, or white it out on documents that ask for this information. The court will keep the impounded materials, documents, and information separate from the rest of your case file.

After the judge makes an order of impoundment, the clerk writes a note in the court record. The note says the kind of information the court has impounded.

After you know if the court will keep your contact information and addresses private, you can file the rest of the court papers and documents in your case.

After you know if the court will keep your other sensitive information private, ask the clerk to tell you what you need to do to file the impounded court papers and documents.


If a judge impounds your address:

  • Do not write your address on any documents you file.
  • If you file papers that have your contact information on them already carefully “black out” or “white out” this information so no one can read it.

In a custody case, you may have medical records and other information about you, your child or the other side that you need to keep private. Wait for the judge’s decision before you file anything, if you need to keep private.

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