Monday, March 23, 2009

California law bans unwarranted disclosure

I just learned that the California legislature unanimously passed a Family Code amendment AB 1877 in July 2008:
At least 10 days before any hearing regarding custody of the child, the report shall be filed with the clerk of the court in which the custody hearing will be conducted and served on the parties or their attorneys, and any other counsel appointed for the child pursuant to Section 3150. The report may be considered by the court. ...

(b) The report shall not be made available other than as provided in subdivision (a), or as described in Section 204 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 1514.5 of the Probate Code. Any information obtained from access to a juvenile court case file, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is confidential and shall only be disseminated as provided by paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 827 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. ...

(d) If the court determines that an unwarranted disclosure of a written confidential report has been made, the court may impose a monetary sanction against the disclosing party.
The legislative summary is here (in pdf). The California lawyers opposed the bill.

I have no idea what an "unwarranted disclosure" would be. Does this law make this blog illegal? I think that this law is a First Amendment violation.

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