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Judge condemns church for failing to publicly disclose documents

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  1. Court Access

    NMU         MASSACHUSETTS         Secret Courts         Nov 26, 2002    

Judge condemns church for failing to publicly disclose documents

  • In denying the Archdiocese of Boston’s emergency motion for secrecy, the court bristled at being “toyed with” by the church.

Thousands of documents produced by the Archdiocese of Boston regarding its handling of 65 priests accused of sexual abuse must be disclosed to the public, Judge Constance M. Sweeney of the Suffolk County Superior Court ordered on Nov. 25.

While the archdiocese provided 11,000 documents to plaintiffs’ attorneys, it filed an emergency motion to keep these records out of the public domain. The archdiocese argued that the documents should not be made public until the court rules on its motion to dismiss the case.

Calling the motion a “transparent delay tactic,” Sweeney condemned the church for filing a motion “designed to escape the full force the court’s multiple orders to produce documents and that those documents be open to public inspection.”

Not only did the archdiocese fail to cite to any legal authority to support its motion, it filed an emergency motion when there was ample time to bring it on a non-emergency basis, Sweeney explained.

“If the tone this endorsement is harsh, so be it. The court simply will not be toyed with,” Sweeney wrote.

(Ford v. Law) ST

© 2002 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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