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Filing into a “sealed” case in Dallas County

Many times, a client will seek to reopen a case in Dallas County that has been sealed. There are several reasons that a case may be sealed, but the primary reason is to protect the parties (particularly their minor children) from sensitive information that may be contained in the file. Of course, the predominant view in America is to maintain openness in public files, including court files.

However, there are scenarios in which is to necessary to seal a file in order to protect sensitive information from being disseminated. How does a case get sealed? Normally, a district judge will order the file to be sealed (sometimes referred to as “closed” in the Dallas County District Clerk’s office). This makes it impossible to retrieve pleadings within the file, even from the litigants themselves, without proper permission from the Court.

If a party wishes to re-open a file that has been sealed to modify an Order (or for any other reason), the party’s attorney would be required to personally go to the Dallas County District Court and petition the court to lift the seal for a limited purpose (to allow only for the attorney to retrieve pleadings and to file into the case).

This is somewhat of a cumbersome task in the age of electronic filing, since sealed cases do not even show up on a search of the Texas electronic filing manager. For assistance in representation by a best family lawyer in Dallas to re-open a sealed file, call Steve Harrelson with the Harrelson Law Firm in Dallas today.

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