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Digital Audio Files for Court Hearings

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota's digital audio files of court proceedings are available to the public over the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system for a fee of $2.40 per audio file. The audio files of most court proceedings held before Judge Michael E. Ridgway, Judge William J. Fisher and Judge Kesha L. Tanabe will be uploaded to the Case Management Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system.

The audio file of each hearing will be embedded in a PDF document docketed to the appropriate case through CM/ECF, usually the day after the hearing. Anyone with a PACER account can access the PDF document and listen to the embedded audio file in the same way they would access any other document filed to the case. However, attorneys and others who are parties to the case will not receive the audio equivalent of a “free look.” Rather, any access to the audio file will be subject to the PACER fee noted above.

Privacy Policy

The judiciary’s privacy policy restricts the publication of certain personal data in documents filed with the court. The policy, formalized in Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037, requires limiting the disclosure of Social Security and financial account numbers to the last four digits, using only initials for the names of minor children, and limiting dates of birth to the year. However, if such information is disclosed in oral argument or elicited during testimony, it will become available to the public. 

Limiting Personal Information
If information subject to the judiciary’s privacy policy is stated on the record, it will be available in the audio files posted to CM/ECF. Counsel and the parties are solely responsible for guaranteeing that pleadings and testimony comply with the requirements of Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037 mandating the redaction of personal data identifiers, and therefore, must avoid introducing personal data and other sensitive information into the record. Clerk’s office staff and chambers’ staff cannot redact audio files before they are placed on CM/ECF.
In addition, please be mindful that the microphones at counsel tables are sensitive and may pick up even whispered conversation. Please make sure that private communications with co-counsel or clients take place away from the microphone so they are not inadvertently recorded.