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No agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions, nor any counsel, insurance company or other representative acting on behalf of such agency, shall approve, accept or enter into any settlement of any such suit, arbitration or proceeding if the settlement provides that its terms and conditions shall be confidential, except in an action for medical malpractice against a hospital facility.

No settlement document sealed under subsection b of this section shall be open for public inspection. Such order shall articulate the overriding interest and shall include findings of fact that are sufficiently specific to permit a reviewing court to determine whether the order was proper. The University of North Carolina athletic conference communications and other documentary materials; public records. Public records, as defined in G.

Government Records

Criminal investigations; intelligence information records; Innocence Inquiry Commission records. Records of criminal investigations conducted by public law enforcement agencies or records of criminal intelligence information may be released by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. The term also includes any records, worksheets, reports, or analyses prepared or conducted by the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory at the request of any public law enforcement agency in connection with a criminal investigation. In order to protect the identity of the complaining witness, the contents of "" and other emergency telephone calls may be released pursuant to this section in the form of a written transcript or altered voice reproduction; provided that the original shall be provided under process to be used as evidence in any relevant civil or criminal proceeding.

Information temporarily withheld under this subsection shall be made available for release to the public in accordance with G. Any person denied access to information withheld under this subsection may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order compelling disclosure of the information. In such action, the court shall balance the interests of the public in disclosure against the interests of the law enforcement agency and the alleged victim in withholding the information. Actions brought pursuant to this subsection shall be set down for immediate hearing, and subsequent proceedings in such actions shall be accorded priority by the trial and appellate courts.

In such action the law enforcement agency shall have the burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that disclosure of the information in question will jeopardize the right of the State to prosecute a defendant or the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial or will undermine an ongoing or future investigation. The use of a public record in connection with a criminal investigation or the gathering of criminal intelligence shall not affect its status as a public record. Nothing in this subsection shall authorize the destruction of the original record.

This term does not include body-worn cameras. This term does not include the release of a recording. If a person whose image or voice is in the recording is deceased, the term also means the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person; the deceased person's surviving spouse, parent, or adult child; the deceased person's attorney; or the parent or guardian of a surviving minor child of the deceased.

This term does not include any video or audio recordings of interviews regarding agency internal investigations or interviews or interrogations of suspects or witnesses. A person requesting disclosure of a recording must make a written request to the head of the custodial law enforcement agency that states the date and approximate time of the activity captured in the recording or otherwise identifies the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording to which the request refers.

The head of the custodial law enforcement agency may only disclose a recording to the following:. When disclosing the recording, the law enforcement agency shall disclose only those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request. A person who receives disclosure pursuant to this subsection shall not record or copy the recording.

The custodial law enforcement agency may consider any of the following factors in determining if a recording is disclosed:. The court may conduct an in-camera review of the recording. The court may order the disclosure of the recording only if the court finds that the law enforcement agency abused its discretion in denying the request for disclosure. The court may only order disclosure of those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request. An order issued pursuant to this subsection may not order the release of the recording.

In any proceeding pursuant to this subsection, the following persons shall be notified and those persons, or their designated representative, shall be given an opportunity to be heard at any proceeding: i the head of the custodial law enforcement agency, ii any law enforcement agency personnel whose image or voice is in the recording and the head of that person's employing law enforcement agency, and iii the District Attorney.

Actions brought pursuant to this subsection shall be set down for hearing as soon as practicable, and subsequent proceedings in such actions shall be accorded priority by the trial and appellate courts. There shall be no fee for filing the petition which shall be filed on a form approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts and shall state the date and approximate time of the activity captured in the recording, or otherwise identify the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording. If the petitioner is a person authorized to receive disclosure, notice and an opportunity to be heard shall be given to the head of the custodial law enforcement agency.

Petitions filed pursuant to this subsection shall be set down for hearing as soon as practicable and shall be accorded priority by the court. The court shall first determine if the person to whom release of the recording is requested is a person authorized to receive disclosure pursuant to subsection c of this section.


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In making this determination, the court may conduct an in-camera review of the recording and may, in its discretion, allow the petitioner to be present to assist in identifying the image or voice in the recording that authorizes disclosure to the person to whom release is requested. If the court determines that the person is not authorized to receive disclosure pursuant to subsection c of this section, there shall be no right of appeal and the petitioner may file an action for release pursuant to subsection g of this section.

If the court determines that the person to whom release of the recording is requested is a person authorized to receive disclosure pursuant to subsection c of this section, the court shall consider the standards set out in subsection g of this section and any other standards the court deems relevant in determining whether to order the release of all or a portion of the recording. The court shall release only those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request and may place any conditions or restrictions on the release of the recording that the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate.

Any custodial law enforcement agency or any person requesting release of a recording may file an action in the superior court in any county where any portion of the recording was made for an order releasing the recording. The request for release must state the date and approximate time of the activity captured in the recording, or otherwise identify the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording to which the action refers.

In determining whether to order the release of all or a portion of the recording, in addition to any other standards the court deems relevant, the court shall consider the applicability of all of the following standards:. The court shall release only those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request, and may place any conditions or restrictions on the release of the recording that the court, in its discretion, deems appropriate. The fee shall not exceed the actual cost of making the copy.

Automatic number identification and automatic location identification information that consists of the name, address, and telephone numbers of telephone subscribers, or the e-mail addresses of subscribers to an electronic emergency notification or reverse system, that is contained in a county or municipal database, or in a county or municipal telephonic or electronic emergency notification or reverse system, is confidential and is not a public record as defined by Chapter of the General Statutes if that information is required to be confidential by the agreement with the telephone company by which the information was obtained.

Dissemination of the information contained in the , electronic emergency notification or reverse system, or automatic number and automatic location database is prohibited except on a call-by-call basis only for the purpose of handling emergency calls or for training, and any permanent record of the information shall be secured by the public safety answering points and disposed of in a manner which will retain that security except as otherwise required by applicable law. Emergency response plans adopted by a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina, a community college, or a public hospital as defined in G.

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A public record, as defined by G. For purposes of this section, the term "alarm registration ordinance" means an ordinance adopted by a city that requires owners of security, burglar, fire, or similar alarm systems to register with the city. Information that is deemed confidential under this section and is not open to public inspection, examination, or copying includes registration information, including the name, home and business telephone number, and any other personal identifying information provided by an applicant pursuant to an alarm registration ordinance, and any sensitive security information pertaining to an applicant's alarm system, including residential or office blueprints, alarm system schematics, and similar drawings or diagrams.

Confidentiality of photographs and video or audio recordings made pursuant to autopsy.

North Carolina Court Records

Except as otherwise provided in G. However, the text of an official autopsy report, including any findings and interpretations prepared in accordance with G. For purposes of this section, an official autopsy is an autopsy performed pursuant to G. If the denial is based on an assertion that the public record is trial preparation material that was prepared in anticipation of a legal proceeding that has not commenced, the custodian shall, upon request, provide a written justification for the assertion that the public record was prepared in anticipation of a legal proceeding.

A party to the pending legal proceeding may not directly or indirectly commence a separate proceeding for release of such record pursuant to G. In determining whether to require the custodian to provide access to all or any portion of the record, the court or other tribunal shall apply the provisions of G. Legal proceeding also includes any federal, State, or local government administrative or quasi-judicial proceeding that is not expressly subject to the provisions of Chapter 1A of the General Statutes or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While the social security number was intended to be used solely for the administration of the federal Social Security System, over time this unique numeric identifier has been used extensively for identity verification purposes and other legitimate consensual purposes.

Social security numbers collected by an agency must be relevant to the purpose for which collected and shall not be collected until and unless the need for social security numbers has been clearly documented.


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Identifying information shall be confidential and not be a public record under this Chapter. A record, with identifying information removed or redacted, is a public record if it would otherwise be a public record under this Chapter but for the identifying information. The presence of identifying information in a public record does not change the nature of the public record. If all other public records requirements are met under this Chapter, the agency of the State or its political subdivisions shall respond to a public records request, even if the records contain identifying information, as promptly as possible, by providing the public record with the identifying information removed or redacted.

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A social security number that is permitted to be mailed under this subdivision may not be printed, in whole or in part, on a postcard or other mailer not requiring an envelope, or visible on the envelope or without the envelope having been opened. The receiving governmental entity and its agents, employees, and contractors shall maintain the confidential and exempt status of such numbers.


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The State Registrar may disclose any identifying information other than social security numbers on any uncertified vital record. Any loan closing instruction that requires the inclusion of a person's social security number on a document to be recorded shall be void. The register of deeds or the Department of the Secretary of State may not reject an instrument presented for recording because the instrument contains an individual's personal information.

The request must be made in writing, legibly signed by the requester, and delivered by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission, or delivered in person to the register of deeds or clerk of court. The request must specify the personal information to be redacted, information that identifies the document that contains the personal information and unique information that identifies the location within the document that contains the social security, employer taxpayer identification, drivers license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or personal identification PIN code or passwords to be redacted.

The request for redaction shall be considered a public record with access restricted to the register of deeds, the clerk of court, their staff, or upon order of the court. The register of deeds or clerk of court shall have no duty to inquire beyond the written request to verify the identity of a person requesting redaction and shall have no duty to remove redaction for any reason upon subsequent request by an individual or by order of the court, if impossible to do so.

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No fee will be charged for the redaction pursuant to such request. Registers of deeds, clerks of court, and the Administrative Office of the Courts may apply optical character recognition technology or other reasonably available technology to publicly accessible official records in order to, in good faith, identify and redact any of the identifying and financial information listed in subsection f of this section.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, law enforcement personnel, judicial officials, and parties to a case and their counsel shall be entitled to access, inspect, and copy unredacted records. The request must be made in writing and delivered by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission, or delivered in person, to the register of deeds or clerk of court. No fee will be charged for the redaction pursuant to such a request.

No liability shall accrue to a register of deeds or clerk of court or to his or her agent for any action related to provisions of this section or for any claims or damages that might result from a social security number or other identifying information on the public record or on a register of deeds' or clerk of court's Internet website available to the general public or an Internet Web site available to the general public used by a register of deeds or clerk of court. Economic development incentives. This description is a public record and is subject to all provisions of this Chapter and other law regarding public records.

In addition, the agency or subdivision must fully and accurately describe the instances in which confidential information may be withheld from disclosure, the types of information that qualify as confidential information, and the methods for ensuring that confidential information is not disclosed. Limited access to identifying information of minors participating in local government programs and programs funded by the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. Notwithstanding this subsection, the name of a minor who has received a scholarship or other local government-funded award of a financial nature from a local government is a public record.