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New Indiana Law Addresses Problem of Abandoned Records

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Indiana has followed California’s lead in creating a law addressing the growing problem of abandoned personal records.


However, unlike the California law, which makes the legacy custodian (those who inherit the abandoned records) responsible for their proper destruction, the Indiana law requires those who inherit the records to turn them over to the Attorney General’s office.  The AG will then either return them to the individuals if possible or have them properly destroyed.


Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act 356 differs from the California law in another way: it only addresses abandoned healthcare records.  California’s abandoned records ordinance covers all personal information.


Like the situation in California, the new law will have the biggest impact on property managers/owners and self storage facilities, who often inherit abandoned records.


In the self storage industry the prevailing practice has been to auction off the contents of storage units, sight unseen. Since a significant number of such units contain records, this now becomes a very questionable and dangerous practice.


Click here to read the text of the law.


Click here for a local perspective on the new law.