CALIFORNIA–A state superior judge in Los Angeles in mid-August withdrew an order blocking a legal newspaper, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, from publishing a story about a lawsuit that was mistakenly unsealed, according to the Associated Press.
The newspaper’s lawyer told the AP that Judge Reginald Dunn reconsidered his order from the previous week in which he refused to lift another judge’s temporary restraining order.
Before the order was rescinded, a state appellate court had agreed to hear an expedited appeal of the order.
According to the AP report, a Daily Journal reporter reviewing papers in the clerk’s office found documents concerning an early June lawsuit that had been automatically sealed for 60 days under a state law covering certain insurance-related cases. The law gives prosecutors time to review the private claims and decide if they want to join the civil suit or file criminal charges. The seal was extended for another 90 days in late July, but the documents were briefly made public through a clerical error when the first seal expired.
Without advance notice or an opportunity to be heard, the newspaper was ordered by Judge Victor Chavez not to publish a planned story. (In re Los Angeles Daily Journal; Media Counsel: Jonathan Levey, Los Angeles)