Posted by Brian Bennett
The New Hampshire Supreme Court recently held that financial information a person discloses in divorce cases is not subject to privacy law protection. The court held that there is a constitutional right of access to court records including financial affidavits filed in domestic relations cases, and that this public right arises from “the need to maintain the integrity and accountability of the judiciary.”
The court also struck down parts of a New Hampshire law that required persons to prove the public interest when seeking to obtain a record, stating that the motivation of the party seeking the records is irrelevant. One reason identified by the State of New Hampshire to keep financial affidavits private was protection from identity theft, but while acknowledging that identity theft is a growing problem, the court said that the state did not demonstrate that court documents were linked to identity theft. Article on the decision here.