Free Speech

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

An update on that Connecticut unsealing case.

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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.