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Fla Bar News Chief Justice Says Open Foreclosure Hearings

Fla Bar News Chief Justice Says Open Foreclosure Hearings

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The is a copy of an article in the Florida Bar News, a government publication, about Florida's Chief Justice reminding Florida's judges that court proceedings are open to journalists and the public. It recently disappeared from the Florida Bar's web site apparently because the Florida Bar is trying to keep citizen journalists from recording court proceedings.
The is a copy of an article in the Florida Bar News, a government publication, about Florida's Chief Justice reminding Florida's judges that court proceedings are open to journalists and the public. It recently disappeared from the Florida Bar's web site apparently because the Florida Bar is trying to keep citizen journalists from recording court proceedings.

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Published by: Mark A. Adams JD/MBA on Feb 01, 2011
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06/30/2013

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Search:The Florida Bar NewsAdvertising RatesClassifiedsAttorneys ExchangeArchivesSubscribe
Journal
 News HOME December 1, 2010
Chief justice moves to ensureforeclosure hearings are open
 
Following claims that some foreclosure hearings around Florida have been closed to the public,Chief Justice Charles Canady has ordered corrective measures.
 
 “The courts of Florida belong to the people of Florida,” the chief justice said. “The people of Florida are entitled to know what takes place in the courts of this state. No crisis justifies theadministrative suspension of the strong legal presumption that state court proceedings areopen to the public.” 
 
Canady acted after the Florida Press Association and other organizations sentletters to him and Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Donald Moran detailing instanceswhere members of the public had been told they could not attend foreclosureproceedings.
 
The letter was signed by representatives of the Florida Press Association, theACLU, the ACLU of Florida, the First Amendment Foundation, the FloridaAssociation of Broadcasters, the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, and the editor of the
 Florida Times-Union.
 
In response, Chief Justice Canady sent to the chief judges of Florida’s 20 circuits a supervisorymemorandum directing the chief judges to ensure that the judges they supervise and the staff who report to those judges, as well as bailiffs and employees of the clerks of court, are notviolating the rights of Floridians by improperly closing judicial proceedings to the public. “The chief judges shall promptly exercise their administrative and supervisory authority tocountermand closures or impediments to access that are inconsistent with Florida law,” Canadytold the chief judges in a November 17 letter.
 
Instances cited by the press organizations, included:
 
• A pro se foreclosure defendant in Duval County was told by a court security person that onlyattorneys were permitted in foreclosure proceedings.
 
• Court observers in Hillsborough and Orange counties called their respective courthouses toinquire about attending foreclosure hearings and were told they were not open to the public.
 
• In Citrus County, a pro se defendant attempting to attend foreclosure hearings in advance of 
 
Page 1of 3Chief justice moves to ensure foreclosure hearings are open1/28/2011http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/Articles/4613DE485FAE7BE38525...
 
his own hearing in order to help prepare his case was denied access and was told the hearingswere private and in the judge’s chambers.
 
• A
Rolling Stone
reporter accompanied a legal aid attorney to a foreclosure hearing inJacksonville, and, at one point left the hearing to interview a pro se litigant. The judge laterthat day sent an e-mail to the attorney criticizing her for bringing the reporter to the hearings,saying that members of the media were permitted only upon “proper request of the securityofficer.” The judge also said the attorney apparently authorized the reporter to “pursue” thepro se litigant which could lead to contempt charges.
 
 “Systematically excluding members of the press and public from judicial foreclosureproceedings violates the robust guarantee of open access to courts provided by Florida law,” the letter said.
 
 “This court has held that ‘both civil and criminal court proceedings in Florida are public eventsand adhere to the well established common law right of access to court proceedings andrecords.’ 
Barron v. Fla. Freedom Newspapers, Inc.
, 531 So. 2d 113, 116 (Fla. 1988).” 
 
The letter said it is the burden of the courts to show that hearings must be closed, not on thepublic to show why they must have access, and that courts have not established any need toclose foreclosure hearings.
 
 “We recognize that the heavy volume of foreclosure cases has led to difficulties finding judgesand courtrooms to hear the cases,” the letter said. “As a result, some cases are being held inchambers for lack of an available traditional courtroom. Nevertheless, the proceedings must beopen, even if they are held temporarily in a smaller and less formal physical setting than usual.While we understand the necessity for ordinary and uniform security screening procedures, theunavailability of a traditional courtroom cannot justify a deprivation of the rights establishedunder Florida law and the U.S. Constitution.” 
 
The groups’ letter to Moran focused on the Duval County incident, which it said occurredOctober 26, and made the same access arguments as the letter to Chief Justice Canady.
 
In his letter to the chief judges, Chief Justice Canady also clarified the Supreme Court’sunderstanding of the goals of the Foreclosure and Economic Recovery Funding Initiative, whichwas partially funded by the Legislature during the 2010 session. Canady said the goal of usingthe $6 million appropriated by the Legislature to the trial courts try to reduce the state’sstaggering backlog of foreclosure filings by 62 percent is a goal, not a quota.
 
 “There is no reason why the 62 percent goal should interfere with a judge’s ability toadjudicate each case fairly on its merits,” Canady said. “Each case must be adjudicated inaccordance with the law.” Canady also told the chief judges he recognizes the challenges they face in assuring that the “avalanche” of foreclosure cases are resolved properly.
 
 “I am confident that with the cooperation of all judges and court staff, along with the tools of the revised rules of court procedure, implementation of the managed mediation program, andthe influx of court resources through the Foreclosure and Economic Recovery Funding
Page 2of 3Chief justice moves to ensure foreclosure hearings are open1/28/2011http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/Articles/4613DE485FAE7BE38525...

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Mark A. Adams JD/MBA added this note
In 2010, the Florida Bar proposed a rule to eliminate coverage of court proceedings by citizen journalists. See Attorneys Attack Rights of Citizen Journalists at http://tiny.cc/0pdhnw By the way, since that attempt got shot down by the response to this article, the scum who run the Floriduh Bar proposed a rule that would allow judges to ban filming by anyone including the lamestream “news” media.
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA added this note
By the way, the Florida Bar came after me to cover up judicial corruption and election theft in Florida. See “Justice” in Florida’s Supreme Court at http://tiny.cc/njvlr and don’t miss the links below the video. Note that about 3 minutes into the video, a deputy clerk admits that the clerk of the Florida Supreme Court illegally and unconstitutionally enters orders without authorization from the
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA added this note
I was also criminally prosecuted without any legal basis. See my Answer Brief Of course, the connected attorneys and those who did their bidding got away with their crimes. For examples, see the FDLE's Letter to the Florida Bar and my Letter to the Inspector General for the Florida Attorney General's Office
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA added this note
The Florida Bar's illegal acts should not be a surprise to anyone who attempts to actually obtain justice for the 99%. After all, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Douglas and Black predicted that mandatory Bar associations would be used to control lawyers, prohibit challenges to the establishment, and cover up misconduct by powerful interests. See their dissents in Lathrop v. Donohue, 367 U.S. 820 (196
Mark A. Adams JD/MBA added this note
Of course, we were not supposed to have to beg the ruling elite to respect our rights or seek redress for crimes committed against us. To learn what happened to our rights to control the government and secure justice, see http://markadams.blip.tv/file/2636803/ and then see http://tiny.cc/lwgnqw
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