Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Privacy in UT Family Law Cases

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

In the days after Kristy Ragsdale’s husband gunned her down in a Lehi church parking lot, divorce filings provided a clearer picture of her killer and the couple’s deteriorating marriage.

Public court records also later detailed her mother’s custody battle for Ragsdale’s two young sons.

Now Utah state courts have closed off thousands of filings in family law cases from public view, with court officials citing privacy concerns as the state moves to exclusively electronic filing. But the change has some questioning whether the rule insulates judges from scrutiny and hurts the public at large.

The rule, approved by the Utah Judicial Council, went into effect April 1 but is retroactive and means most filings in divorces, protective orders and other domestic cases will now be available only to the parties involved. Judgments, orders and decrees will remain public, as will the case histories and hearings.

Read more here.


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