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RJAC to discuss Marsy’s Law at the Bar’s Fall Meeting

Regular News

An open forum on how the new Marsy’s Law victims’ rights constitutional amendment will affect access to court records will be held by the Rules of Judicial Administration Committee at the Bar’s Fall Meeting.

RJAC Chair Judge Josephine Gagliardi has devoted the October 18 meeting, which begins at 1 p.m., to taking testimony on how Marsy’s Law impacts Rule of Judicial Administration 2.420, which governs public access to court records and sets out procedures and parameters for protecting confidential information in court records.

The meeting, held at the Tampa Airport Marriott hotel, is open to the public and statements may be time limited due to the number of speakers and because of other committee business. The committee also welcomes written submissions from those unable to attend the meeting.

Those wishing to present information must submit the following information to [email protected] by October 1: Name, agency (if any) represented, address, email address, whether the person intends to attend in person or submit a statement or questions, and a brief summary of the person’s concerns or questions.

Marsy’s Law, among other provisions, allows crime victims to opt to keep information that could identify them out of public and court records. Clerks of court have said the amendment is proving problematic for them because it is not in one of the 23 categories they are automatically allowed to redact under Rule 2.420; they have not been authorized by the Supreme Court to withhold such information and can only do that with court approval; and in many cases they have no way to identify information protected by Marsy’s Law as it flows from other agencies and individuals through their offices and into court files.

The Florida Clerks of Court & Comptrollers asked the Supreme Court for guidance and the court in turn asked the RJAC to look into the issue.

If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact Krys Godwin, Director, Legal Publications, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300, or call 850-561-5706, at least seven days before your scheduled appearance, or immediately upon receiving this notification if the time before the scheduled appearance is less than seven days; if you are hearing or voice impaired, call 711.

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