§48-1-303. Confidentiality of domestic relations court files.

(a) All orders in domestic relations actions entered in the civil order books by circuit clerks are public records.

(b) Upon the filing of a domestic relations action, all pleadings, exhibits or other documents, other than orders, that are contained in the court file are confidential and not open for public inspection either during the pendency of the case or after the case is closed.

(c) When sensitive information has been disclosed during a hearing or in pleadings, evidence or documents filed in the record, the court may, sua sponte or upon motion of a party, order such information sealed in the court file. Sealed documents or court files can only be opened by order of a circuit or family court judge.

(d) The parties, their designees, their attorneys, a duly appointed guardian ad litem or any other person who has standing to seek modification or enforcement of a support order has the right to examine and copy any document in a confidential court file that has not been sealed by court order. Upon motion and for good cause shown, the court may permit a person who is not a party to the action to examine and copy any documents that are necessary to further the interests of justice.

(e) The clerk of the circuit court shall keep a written log of all persons who examine confidential documents as provided for in this section. Every person who examines confidential documents shall first sign the clerk's written log, except for a circuit judge or family court judge before whom the case is pending, or court personnel acting within the scope of their duties. The clerk shall record the time and date of every examination of confidential documents. The log must be retained by the clerk and must be available upon request for inspection by the circuit judge or the family court judge.