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How do I ask the court to protect my information?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed May 2021
File a Motion to Impound, an Affidavit to support your motion, and a Proposed Order to ask the judge to order the court to keep your information and documents private.

Note

If your only case in Probate and Family Court is a 209A Restraining Order your address should already be kept private, but some judges will still ask that you file a Motion to Impound.

You must tell the judge why you need the court to keep the information private. Your reasons to keep any information private must be more than simply to protect your privacy. The reasons must show that you need the court to keep the information private so nobody can use it to harm you. If you need the judge to order the other side not to see your information, tell the judge in your motion and proposed order.

Some reasons you may need to keep information private are:

  • To be safe. You will be in danger if someone else finds out where you live or work.
  • Information is too sensitive. The information in the file is too sensitive to be public. Sensitive information you may need to impound could be your medical or mental health history, or history of sexual abuse. Also, you may need to keep sensitive information about your child confidential. In some cases, you can have your entire file impounded.
  • You are staying in a domestic violence shelter. If you live in a domestic violence shelter, never reveal your physical address on public court forms.

Important

If you need to use a completely different address, you may need the Address Confidentiality Program

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