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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court orders hundreds of pages of sealed documents in a pending case to be open and available for public inspection

Oral arguments were heard before the Supreme Court Jan. 14th in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. United States Filter Corp. - see ILB upcoming oral argument notice here. Here is the link to the ILB summary of the July 24, 2007 Court of Appeals opinion. . [This is the Wheelabrator case.]

Today the Supreme Court has announced:

The Indiana Supreme Court is ordering hundreds of pages of sealed documents in a pending case to be open and available for public inspection.

In April 2005, Marion Superior Court approved a "Confidentiality Stipulation and Order" in an insurance case. The case involves whether corporations defending claims of exposure to silica have insurance coverage for those claims.

That case is now before the Indiana Supreme Court and under consideration by the 5 Justices. While reviewing the case, the Court discovered the confidential documents. In August 2008, The Supreme Court filed an "Order to Show Cause" (access it here) questioning why public access was denied and case documents were filed under seal.

Today the Indiana Supreme Court has ordered those documents be declared a matter of public record. The attached "Order On Access To Case Records" (access it here) explains why the Court will not allow the documents to remain confidential or be purged from the trial court record. [Emphasis in the original]

Read the Order. It has a section headed "How Rule 9 Works." Unfortunately it is a scanned document so that I may not easily pull quotes from it, but I will be commenting on it later.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 10, 2008 02:54 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions