Monday, January 28, 2008

Theory for the late secrecy order

A reader suggests that Comm. Joseph has falsified the record in order to evade appellate court jurisdiction.

I doubt that, but Comm. Joseph's recent order is hard to explain. Sally Mitchell testified on Jan. 4 in open court, and nobody said anything about any of it being confidential at the time. After Ms. Mitchell left, he said that her report was confidential, but said nothing about her testimony. On Jan. 11, Comm. Joseph issued his final judgment in the matter, and he again said nothing about her testimony being confidential. On Jan. 23, I filed a notice of appeal, removing jurisdiction over the case to a higher court. Then on Jan. 25, his clerk sent out the new Jan. 11 minutes with the "off the record" order sealing the Ms. Mitchell testimony transcript.

It seems to me that as of Jan. 23, Ms. Mitchell's transcript was under the jurisdiction of the appellate court and Comm. Joseph then had no authority over it. By backdating his order to Jan. 11, he makes it appear as if he issued the order while he still had jurisdiction over the matter.

I think that the order is incorrect, whether it is dated Jan. 11 or 25, so it probably does not make any difference. Still, I don't think that Comm. Joseph should be issuing orders in response to my notice of appeal. Once I appeal, he should just let the appeals court handle it and not try to interfere.

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