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Requests for secrecy must be filed publicly

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Asking a court to keep certain documents secret must be done publicly, a San Diego federal judge ordered June 3…

Asking a court to keep certain documents secret must be done publicly, a San Diego federal judge ordered June 3 in a corruption case involving former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. If a party wishes to file papers in secret, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said, it must ask to do so openly to give the public the opportunity to oppose the secrecy, citing precedent from the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Burns, however, refused to provide access to a letter related to Thomas Kontogiannis, a Cunningham associate convicted of money laundering and sentenced to eight years in prison. The letter was mentioned in open court, but Burns cited a Ninth Circuit ruling on the Classified Information Procedures Act and applied it to the letter because it was delivered to his office in an envelope marked "Top Secret.