On December 6, 2007, the trial court indicated to the parties that for anyone other than the parties to view the contents of the CWS file, including the CWS narrative report, a Court order must be obtained.This is just not true. The court said nothing about “anyone other than the parties”. To support her statement, Julie cites the Dec. 6, 2007 transcript of a discussion between the judge and me:
THE RESPONDENT: I have the report. That's probably 90 percent of the file.But I never requested or received a court order to take photocopies or to remove a portion of the file. Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph never said that there was any restriction on the use of the report that I already had. Even if I had received a court order, he does not say whether I would be allowed to show the file to others. It seems to me that if I can get a copy for myself, then I can show the copy to others, and he never said anything to the contrary on Dec. 6, 2007.
THE COURT: I'm willing to report it's 5 percent of the file in terms of pages and interviews and documents.
THE RESPONDENT: Okay. I wouldn't know. The procedures you outlined for seeing the file, can I do that just with CPS or Court order?
THE COURT: If all you want to do is look at the file, not take photocopies, not remove any portion of the file, not copy it for anyone else, you can do that directly with CPS. Anything beyond looking at the file requires that you get a Court order.
Comm. Joseph later said on Jan. 4, 2008 that I could not even show the report to my own lawyer, and applied that legal theory to prevent me from presenting a rebuttal witness. He said that I would not be allowed to rebut the report or testimony because no one is allowed to see the report or testimony.
Comm. Joseph was just wrong about the report being 5% of the file. The file was mainly a rough draft of the report, along with some stuff like some printouts from this blog.
There is nothing secret about the report. It is posted on the internet. I have given out copies to many people who offered to comment on it. I did get some useful feedback from others about the report, and I was entirely within my rights to do that.