We wrote earlier this month about Michigan’s court rules update that will implement an identifier redaction policy beginning July 1, 2021. Under the proposed changes to Rule 1.109 and Rule 8.119, an individual’s date of birth will be fully removed from court records before the records are provided to the public. Court clerks will not be permitted to verbally confirm the date of birth and cannot conduct a search by date of birth. Only one identifier, the individual’s name, could be available to the public. As explained in our previous post, AccuSource cannot report criminal records if we have an insufficient number of identifiers when matching records to the applicant being screened.
The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), our industry’s trade association, has been working with the Michigan State Court Administrator’s office. Michigan has offered a couple of options to the PBSA. First, Michigan proposes that a court researcher can provide each applicant’s consent to have his or her date of birth released to the researcher. However, court clerks may become overwhelmed by the number of consents, and some may refuse to accept the consents. The other solution offered by Michigan is for background screening companies to use the Michigan State Police’s online system, ICHAT. However, ICHAT only provides records where a defendant has been fingerprinted. While more serious offenses can be retrieved from ICHAT, the system may not contain lower and mid-level offenses and pending cases.
As of the date of this post, the PBSA and our industry has not been successful in reversing Michigan’s decision to move forward. AccuSource has been preparing for the redaction policy if it is implemented and will continue to update you as July 1 arrives. Please let us know if you have any questions.