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"Judge Who Sealed Documents Relating to Her Home in Beach Community Gets Reversed by Appellate Court"

An update on that Connecticut unsealing case.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I blogged last Tuesday about this case, which I argued last Friday; Jon Lender (Hartford Courant) has the story on the result:

A Connecticut judge, who sealed two court documents relating to her own home in a Maine beach community, has been reversed by the state Appellate Court—which Friday ordered that the blocked material be restored to the public record in Superior Court in New Haven.

The records were unsealed Monday, undoing Superior Court Judge Sheila Ozalis' Jan. 15 orders in a three-year-old lawsuit, which stems from a dispute over beach access rights between owners of property on Branford's waterfront and homeowners a short distance inland.

Ozalis had blocked public access to two documents—a lawyer's motion and a supporting memorandum that claimed she has a potential conflict of interest serious enough to disqualify her from continuing to preside over the case.

Read the rest of the story here; you can see the unsealed documents at items 208.00 and 209.00 here. Note how quickly the Connecticut sealing appeal process is designed to work in such cases: I filed my brief in the Appellate Court Tuesday, Jan. 21 (after my original brief was bounced because of an error I made in the required certificate), the argument was Friday, Feb. 7, and the one-paragraph decision was handed down that day. That's light speed by the standards of civil litigation.

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  1. I hope the Streisand effect hits the Judge hard. It would be very satisfying.

  2. The reporter writes that your appearance in Hartford was “very brief”. Approximately how long was the hearing?

    1. I think 5 or 6 minutes. No-one showed up to oppose me, and my sense was that the judges had read my very brief papers. I therefore just asked them if they had any questions (they had very few) and then briefly spoke to the one development that happened in the case below the day before the argument (and thus after I had filed my papers).

  3. “That’s light speed by the standards of civil litigation.”

    At what speed is your similar intervention with respect to the sealing matter involving John M. Mulvaney of South Carolina progressing?

    #ConservativeCourage

    1. “At what speed is your similar intervention with respect to the sealing matter involving John M. Mulvaney of South Carolina progressing?”

      You expect him to personally handle every case? You claim to be a lawyer, Arthur. Why don’t you handle that one?

      Or are you chicken?

      #KirklandCourage

      1. I expect him to snipe and whine incessantly with respect to perceived (often genuine) missteps involving liberals (and libertarians, and moderates, and RINOs) while issuing undeserved passes to similar, identical, or (with respect to Republicans empowered to nominate judges) worse conduct involving movement conservatives.

        I also expect him to ignore comment content from movement conservatives that he censors with respect to others.

        I hope I am disappointed one of these days.

        1. “I expect him to snipe and whine incessantly with respect to perceived (often genuine) missteps involving liberals (and libertarians, and moderates, and RINOs) while issuing undeserved passes to similar, identical, or (with respect to Republicans empowered to nominate judges) worse conduct involving movement conservatives.”

          Arthur, it’s possible that you may be projecting.

  4. Arthur also claims to be a member of the clergy.

    1. And a sportswriter.

      1. Former sportswriter. What’s wrong with being a sportswriter, other than association with the mainstream, legitimate journalism that the Conspiracy’s followers at the clinger fringe disdain?

        1. Well, sportswriters are generally the dregs of journalism, but I know some very nice and good ones. My comment was more about your fabulism than about the profession.

          1. I was also a news editor. Is that better, in your eyes?

            When I worked at a city desk, or copy desk, we often answered the sports desk phones (when they were ringing off the hook) with “toy department” or “toys and games.” The sports desk employees didn’t like it. It was similar to how educated, progressive, tolerant, accomplished decent (“elite”) Americans look down on shambling clingers. I would have thought the Republican-conservative side of our political divide — poorly educated, downscale, feeling persecuted, stuck in the sticks, on the losing end of the culture war — would be sympathetic toward sportswriters.

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