PBSA distributes letter related to controversial Michigan decision to redact DOB from public records

PBSA distributes letter related to controversial Michigan decision to redact DOB from public records

Following the announcement of a proposed amendment from the Michigan Supreme Court to redact the Date of Birth (DOB) from court records, the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) asked all members to distribute the following letter to clients.

GroupOne Background Screening has been a long-standing member of PBSA – a non-profit trade organization representing background screening companies worldwide – for over a decade. The letter follows:

RE: PUBLIC RECORDS (CRIMINAL RECORDS) CHECKS IN MICHIGAN

To Whom It May Concern:

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) has been advised that all Michigan courts will redact date of birth (DOB) from their public records available through courthouses effective July 1, 2021. This change is the result of a rule adopted by the Supreme Court that the State Court Administrative Office has interpreted to require clerks not to use or provide DOB in searches. This means that only one identifier (name) will be available on court records. Federal law and industry standards require at least two identifiers. Therefore, this change will impact all criminal background checks in Michigan until further notice.

The Michigan State Court Administrative Office has offered two unworkable solutions to this rule:

1. Background screeners can bring an applicant’s consent form with them to the courthouse to authorize the release of date of birth information. All courts that we have spoken to have advised that this solution is not and will not be available – to no fault of their own, court staff were not given any resources to manage this new workload.

2. Background screeners can use the Michigan State Police online system, ICHAT. ICHAT only includes criminal offenses that have been fingerprinted and therefore is missing a great deal of information particularly lower and mid-level charges and pending cases.

PBSA will continue to exhaust all options to reverse this disastrous rule which diminishes safety in our workplaces, homes, and communities.

Sincerely,
Melissa L. Sorenson, Esq.
Executive Director
PBSA


Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Danny Davila, GroupOne’s director of FCRA regulatory risk and consumer compliance advisor, at ddavila@gp1.com.

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