Michigan Courts Postpone Date of Birth Redaction Until 2022

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Featured -Michigan Courts Postpone Date of Birth Redaction Until 2022

The Michigan Supreme Court issued a decision to delay the date of implementation of the date of birth redaction rule. This is a welcome ruling for many employers as well as landlords as it will give them time to prepare for the changes the new rule will bring.

The rule would have Michigan Courts redact the birth dates from public records that are available from Michigan Courthouses. This means that when potential employers request background checks for job applicants, the birth date on any criminal records would be redacted. The implementation date was to be July 1, 2021, but it will now be January 1, 2022.

Michigan Courts had planned to require that their clerks not use any dates of birth in any of their searches or provide any dates of birth because that is the way the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) interpreted the new Michigan Supreme Court rules. 

As a result of this rule, the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) requested that members take action on the issue because accessing dates of birth is necessary for confirming whether or not a record is a match for a job candidate that a background check is being performed on.

The PBSA requested that any members who have clients in Michigan or who have performed background checks on people that have lived in Michigan in the past or who currently live in Michigan get in touch with the Supreme Court and let them know about the concerns they have concerning the rule by making use of the PBSA’s sample letter and list. The PBSA also suggests that their members urge their Michigan customers to write letters to the Supreme Court.

Since two firm identifiers are required by federal law as well as industry standards to match records, the new law will make it difficult to perform background checks on applicants that lived, attended school, or previously worked in Michigan. The PBSA has spoken with the SCAO in an attempt to get the rule reversed but has so far not succeeded. 

The SCAO has suggested some potential solutions for the PBSA’s concerns, but these have not been adequate. One suggestion was that the company performing the background check bring a consent form signed by the applicant authorizing the release of their birth date to the court. However, it seems this would not work due to the inability of the courts to handle the additional work this would entail. But, the PBSA will continue to try to reverse this rule.