Monday, December 23, 2013

Fla. Appeals Court Rules Judge Wrongly Withheld Release of Docs in Murder Case

The Florida Times-Union
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Florida's First District Court of Appeal last week unanimously boosted the Sunshine State's Public Records Act, ruling that a trial judge in a murder case wrongly restricted the release of discovery documents, the Florida Times Union reported.

Judge Russell Healey, presiding over the murder trial of Michael David Dunn, issued an order delaying for 30 days the release to the public of documents shared by prosecutors with defense counsel so that he could review them for potential prejudice, according to the Times Union.

Under Florida's Public Records Act [Fla. Stat. secs. 119.01-119.15 (1995)], "[A]ll state, county and municipal records shall at all times be open for a personal inspection by any person." Despite the appellate panel's ruling, either side in the Dunn case could seek a protective order from Judge Healey barring the release of specific records to the public that would require an evidentiary hearing.
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