I’ve blogged previously about Florida being a “sunshine state”, with a strong policy favoring open, public records. See Public Right to Know Vs. Individual Privacy.
I’ve also blogged previously about a nationwide trend making it more and more difficult to seal divorce cases or even parts of them. See Private Finances and Corporate Records: Should They Go Public in Divorce?.
More recently, a political firestorm has been touched off by local media’s discovery of secret dockets filled with totally hidden, secret cases, right here in Palm Beach County, in neighboring Broward County and also in counties which are part of the Tampa Bay area.
The Chief Judge of this Circuit has promptly reviewed all such cases, released case numbers for them and affirmed the propriety of the sealing of the cases (except for two which appear to have been products of clerical errors).
The Chief Judge also reported that the majority of the hidden cases were family court cases.