Thursday, February 07, 2008

Confidentiality order after hearing

My ex-wife finally wrote up the findings and orders from the Jan. 11 hearing, as directed by Comm. Joseph. The way the Rule 3.1312 procedure works, she is supposed to submit it to me for my approval as to form and content, and then submit it to the judge to sign it.

I refused to sign it. The main reason was that she included Comm. Joseph's "off the record" confidentiality order that was apparently issued on Jan. 25 and backdated to Jan. 11.

I really don't think that Comm. Joseph can hold a public hearing in open court on Jan. 4, and then suddenly decide on Jan. 25 that the transcript is confidential. I also don't think that he is supposed to be issuing orders on Jan. 25 and backdating them to Jan. 11. That is what he did.

But whether Comm. Joseph can do that or not, I certainly don't think that either my ex-wife or I should facillitate Comm. Joseph manipulating the record in this way. We were not present for his confidentiality order, and we should not sign a proposed order that includes the confidentiality order as part of the Jan. 11 orders when we know that it did not happen that way.

I think that if Comm. Joseph decides on Jan. 25 to issue an "off the record" confidentiality order, then he should just issue the order on his own and date it Jan. 25. The order should show that my ex-wife and I were not present, and we had no opportunity to object or to present arguments as to why the order is legally incorrect or unwarranted. He shouldn't backdate it to Jan. 11, and my ex-wife shouldn't backdate it either.

Of course I don't think that the confidentiality order is justified. The was nothing confidential about the testimony at all. I have already written about the gist of it on this blog. It was just some idiotic accusations about dogs, clocks, homework, and dishes. Comm. Joseph appears to be just trying to protect Sally Mitchell, the CPS social worker, from embarrassment.

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