Sound the Alarm! Michigan & California Create New Court Record Rules

Second to your name, your date of birth is one of the most important pieces of identifying information… and the state of Michigan (among many counties in California) wants to remove it from all of their public records. These new court record rules, which hide the date of birth from public criminal databases, diminishes the safety of those records and this is why.

Michigan & Other California Counties that Have/Will Remove Identifying Information

Based on Michigan Supreme Court’s new rule, the state’s courts will be redacting date of birth (DOB) from their public records. This means when scanning for criminal records, only one identifier (the applicant’s name) will be available to cross reference accuracy.

Second to your name, your date of birth is one of the most important pieces of identifying information… and the state of Michigan (among many counties in California) wants to remove it from all of their public records. These new court record rules, which hide the date of birth from public criminal databases, diminishes the safety of those records and this is why.

Michigan & Other California Counties that Have/Will Remove Identifying Information

Based on Michigan Supreme Court’s new rule, the state’s courts will be redacting date of birth (DOB) from their public records. This means when scanning for criminal records, only one identifier (the applicant’s name) will be available to cross reference accuracy.

In its place, consumer reporting agencies and transactional data companies will have to rely on the Michigan State Police’s online system, ICHAT. However, like most state-run criminal record databases, ICHAT limits the types of criminal records in its database to felonies and serious misdemeanor convictions that are punishable by a minimum of 90 days in jail. Other public records commonly found through county-led databases like non-convictions, wants and warrants, and suppressed convictions will not be available. This was originally slated to go into effect on July 1, 2021, but will now be implemented on January 1, 2022 to give the courts some time to adjust to the new rule.

In its place, consumer reporting agencies and transactional data companies will have to rely on the Michigan State Police’s online system, ICHAT. However, like most state-run criminal record databases, ICHAT limits the types of criminal records in its database to felonies and serious misdemeanor convictions that are punishable by a minimum of 90 days in jail. Other public records commonly found through county-led databases like non-convictions, wants and warrants, and suppressed convictions will not be available. This was originally slated to go into effect on July 1, 2021, but will now be implemented on January 1, 2022 to give the courts some time to adjust to the new rule.

This isn’t just a Michigan issue. Several California county clerks have opted to not verify date of birth when entering criminal records after Riverside, CA’s county clerk, Samuel Hamrick, lost All of Us or None-Riverside Chapter et al. v. W. Samuel Hamrick, Jr. et al. Case No. RIC1613524. While Hamrick has 60 days to appeal, counties like Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Ventura, and more have (in the meantime) ceased verifying DOB.

Why Date of Birth (DOB) is Crucial

As we said before, date of birth is vital identifying information. It helps transactional data companies (and the organizations and businesses that rely on this data) accurately match public record data to applicants, users, and the like. After all, with a population of roughly 9+ million in Michigan and 39+ million in California, the likelihood of two people having similar names, nicknames, and aliases in the same state is high.

This isn’t just a Michigan issue. Several California county clerks have opted to not verify date of birth when entering criminal records after Riverside, CA’s county clerk, Samuel Hamrick, lost All of Us or None-Riverside Chapter et al. v. W. Samuel Hamrick, Jr. et al. Case No. RIC1613524. While Hamrick has 60 days to appeal, counties like Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Ventura, and more have (in the meantime) ceased verifying DOB.

Why Date of Birth (DOB) is Crucial

As we said before, date of birth is vital identifying information. It helps transactional data companies (and the organizations and businesses that rely on this data) accurately match public record data to applicants, users, and the like. After all, with a population of roughly 9+ million in Michigan and 39+ million in California, the likelihood of two people having similar names, nicknames, and aliases in the same state is high.

Plus, relying on state-run repositories like Michigan’s ICHAT isn’t ideal. State databases often only have select public record information and can omit certain misdemeanors or non-convictions. Scanning criminal databases like these is like using a wide net in a large lake. Sometimes things can slip through. This can be detrimental not only for resident screening purposes, but for universities and organizations who study this data.

Plus, relying on state-run repositories like Michigan’s ICHAT isn’t ideal. State databases often only have select public record information and can omit certain misdemeanors or non-convictions. Scanning criminal databases like these is like using a wide net in a large lake. Sometimes things can slip through. This can be detrimental not only for resident screening purposes, but for universities and organizations who study this data.

While CIC’s unique data filtering tool will automatically remove data restrictions that apply to certain zip codes so that end-users can limit their liability, DOB restrictions make data accessibility an issue. Identifying information ensures that these public records are attributed to the right people. The FCRA requires “maximum possible accuracy” and government agencies such as the EEOC and HUD recommend three matching data points (like first and last name, middle initials, and DOB). Without the date of birth, linking a record to a particular consumer may not fit the “maximum possible accuracy” requirement.

The end result? Records could go unreported and end users like rental property owners and managers may not be informed about high-risk renters jeopardizing the safety of their properties and other residents – all because local courts choose to mask important identifying information.

While CIC’s unique data filtering tool will automatically remove data restrictions that apply to certain zip codes so that end-users can limit their liability, DOB restrictions make data accessibility an issue. Identifying information ensures that these public records are attributed to the right people. The FCRA requires “maximum possible accuracy” and government agencies such as the EEOC and HUD recommend three matching data points (like first and last name, middle initials, and DOB). Without the date of birth, linking a record to a particular consumer may not fit the “maximum possible accuracy” requirement.

The end result? Records could go unreported and end users like rental property owners and managers may not be informed about high-risk renters jeopardizing the safety of their properties and other residents – all because local courts choose to mask important identifying information.

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Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

Comments (1)

  1. jake jones

    Reply

    These idiots are real bastards who want to allow these criminals to live every where around little children with no protection. They are real scum.

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