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Florida courts move to require justification for sealing documents

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  1. Court Access
Courts in three Florida counties are using new standardized forms to ensure that judges provide adequate reasons for sealing court…

Courts in three Florida counties are using new standardized forms to ensure that judges provide adequate reasons for sealing court records, The Ledger [Lakeland] reported.

The form was created after the clerk of court said judges were not including reasons for sealing records in their orders. A review done by The Ledger of 80 cases spanning from April 2007 to October 2009 found 19 cases that did not cite reasons for sealing records. Additionally, 43 cases sealed records that are already confidential under Florida law.

Three years ago, the Florida Supreme Court adopted new rules for sealing records in civil cases, but is still considering potential rules for criminal and appellate cases.