Since the church is a private organization, and you were a member, there probably aren't any legal ramifications. They can keep whatever records of their members they made as long as they want to. There isn't, as far as I know, any legal obligation of any kind to destroy them, to keep them confidential, or to make them available to anyone. They own the records, even if they're about you.
And no, they're not destroyed. Even if you officially resign. They keep everything.
He went to the bishop when we were dating and told him about being gay. Obviously, they never put anything in his record as this ward had NO CLUE he was gay. The bishop he was ex. sec. to thought he was something really great and told me that he would be the next bishop or the one following. I doubt with gay in the record, he would have said that.
I don't think anyone was more shocked than that bishop and his wife when they found out he is gay.
When my ex left, many people wanted me to get him excommunicated, but I refused. It would have been much more difficult for me had he been ex'd than for him. He didn't care. Then my BIL told me my kids could get him ex'd once they turned 18 (which they almost were). It infuriated me.
Will be interesting to see what happens with GDPR in Europe next month. It includes some pretty stringent protocols relating to sending data of EU citizens out of the EU as well as data retention procedures etc. Could be something someone this side of the Atlantic could take a run at the church with.
The only people who can see them are the people involved in the Court, roughly a dozen people. Only one copy is made and it will be forwarded to the COB when it is resolved. The local leaders are not allowed to keep copies. Of course, they can really do whatever they want and make as many copies as they want. Never expect any privacy from the church.
Privacy is becoming a bigger concern with all the hacks into personal data, so maybe the US will change the law WRT content and retention of private information of individuals by corporations. Sadly, in the US, churches tend to get a pass on such governmental regulation.
Until that happens in the US (if ever), members have a right (actually, an expectation) to remain silent (aka bow your head and say yes) and a right to resign. That's about it.
The church seemed to still have some very old records on McKenna Denson, including her out of wedlock pregnancy and allowing her child to be adopted. I think they have dossiers on anybody that has had any kind or run-in or discipline.
The Curch office does indeed keep all of its records, the local ward or stake house shouldn’t have any.
The church never gets rid of any written record. They will microfilm, scan, preserve any and all documents. They never forget.
I remember that I had a church court and they kept a file on the proceedings. I was not allowed to see it, but I could read alot of it as it lay open on the Bishops desk.. What it actually reminded me of was a police report. It outlined my misdeeds and seemed to have a brief biographical statement about me and church callings. I was told that all info would be filed at COB and nobody local would retain info, because the church is so forgiving.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/08/2018 12:44PM by Whiskeytango.
When I was a clerk in the 1970’s a paper record of the Court of Love proceedings was kept in an unlocked file cabinet in the clerk’s office. The only access security was a key to the clerk’s office. Several members had that door key. Also reel to reel tapes of the audio proceedings of the Court of Love’s from the 1960’s was in an unlocked closet. I felt it was unethical to keep the tapes so I destroyed them. There were no tapes from the 1970’s. I don’t know what the correct protocol for record security and retention was at the time. Just what I experienced. Even back then it seemed odd such sensitive documents were so easily accessible.