Communications - Confidential Records Policy
Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records and Procedure for Law Enforcement Visits and Receipt of Court Orders
The University of Georgia Libraries policy on confidentiality directly reflects Georgia Code 24-9-46 that states:
"(a) Circulation and similar records of a library which identify the user of library materials shall not be public records but shall be confidential and may not be disclosed except:
Although confidential library records have always been subject to disclosure according to lawful process, the USA Patriot Act expands the authority of local, state and federal law enforcement to gain access to educational and library records, including stored electronic data and communications. As such, this law overrides state library confidentiality laws protecting library records. This law also applies to university and other records in the custody of the Libraries archives and records program; thus these procedures also will apply.
Definition of Terminology:
Court Order: an order by a legally recognized court of law that requires a party to do or to abstain from doing a specific act. Both a search warrant and a subpoena are court orders.
Search warrant: a written order issued by a judge that directs a law enforcement officer to search a specific area for a particular piece of evidence.
Subpoena: a document issued by the court to compel a witness to appear and give testimony or to procure documentary evidence in a proceeding.
The UGA Office of Legal Affairs (542-0006, fax: 542-3248) is responsible for reviewing and responding to all court orders, search warrants, subpoenas or other requests for information. All requests of this nature should be forwarded to this office as quickly as possible.
When presented with any court order, an employee should: