WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Eyewitness News is learning more Friday night about the release of personal information from the Luzerne County Court System.
Eyewitness News confirmed the personal information was sent out by the court system. But, the court, according to state officials, does not have control over the information placed into those confidential files.
“So there’s paperwork that’s coming out of central court in Luzerne County with other people’s identities, social security numbers, driver’s license,” said Pam of Wilkes-Barre.
Pam from Wilkes-Barre showed Eyewitness News confidential court papers sent to her by the Luzerne County Court System. The documents contained the personal information of people involved in the case.
Eyewitness News asked, “What did you think when you saw this?
I was disgusted because this is how you can apply for credit cards, you can apply for loans. You can do identity theft. This information here, you can do anything with. This just is not right,” Pam responded.
Eyewitness News heard similar concerns from other people who have cases in the Luzerne County Court System. Most of those cases are at the District Justice Level at Central Court. People wanted to know how could this happen.
Eyewitness News reached out to Luzerne County court officials and heard back from a spokesperson from the Administrative Offices of Pennsylvania Courts (A.O.P.C), a state agency that oversees the commonwealth court system.
The spokesperson tells the I-Team that the information that is put into the court file, specifically what’s called the ‘confidential information page,’ is the responsibility of the filer, such as the police department, a private attorney, or a citizen. And that the court, in this case, central court, cannot alter that criminal complaint. That page is not available to the public, only to people involved in the respective case.
The same spokesperson says that central court sends out criminal complaints to people involved in cases. They do not control the information placed into that file..
Eyewitness News spoke with officials from several local police departments who said that from now on, they will instruct their officers to make sure separate ‘confidential pages’ are sent individually to people involved in the case. To ensure that they will not see the personal information of others involved in the case. And some of the officers said they assumed that the court would redact the personal information