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Court order to release personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse

Court order to release personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse

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California Superior Court's order to release personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse

California Superior Court's order to release personnel files of priests accused of sex abuse

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Published by: Los Angeles Daily News on Feb 01, 2013
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8~ pior Court of California of Los Angeles/7

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9 JAN 3 1 2013 ! :' (
,Deputy

FILED

JohnA. Clarke, Executive Officer1Clerk
By
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SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
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inated Proceeding Special Title

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Case No. JCCP 4286 [Hon. I-Ionorable Emilie H. Elias Coordination Trial Judge]

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THE CLERGY CASES I

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Case No. JCCP 4297
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j ORDER RE RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS
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PURSUANT TO CLERGY I SETTLEMENTS

Department 324 Los Angeles Superior Court

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[PROPOSED] ORDER RE RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS PURSUANT TO CLERGYI SETFLEMENTS

A hearing was held at 10:OO a.m. on January 7,2013 in Department 324 in the above-entitlec zourt, Honorable Emilie H. Elias, J., presiding, regarding the release of documents pursuant to the

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xppe ed on behalf of Plaintiffs, with Mr. Boucher acting as Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel. J. Michael Henn gan, Lee Potts, and Michele Friend appeared on behalf of the Archdiocesan Defendants, with Mich el Hemigan acting as Defense Liaison Counsel. Donald Steier appeared on behalf of certain non- arty objecting persons. Dan Willick appeared as amicus curiae on behalf of the California Psyc 'atric Association, and Rochelle Wilcox and Jonathan Segal appeared on behalf of Los Ange es Times Communications LLC and the Associated Press. On July 13,2007, Plaintiffs and the Archdiocesan Defendants entered into a Global ent Agreement in which they agreed to a procedure for the release of documents maintained

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, I Global and PreE'ost Settlement Agreements. Raymond Boucher and Anthony DeMarco

Sen1

by th Archdiocese to Plaintiffs for possible publication. On April 13,2009, the Court entered an order adopting the Settling Parties' stipulation and

order referring the issue of a protocol for production and publication of accused offenders' personuc files o a Referee, with modifications regarding notice and opportunities to object by nonparties to the S ttlement Agreement. On June 15,2009, the Court entered an order adopting the Settling Parties' stipulations and

appoi ting the Honorable Dickran M. Tevrizian (Ret.) as a general consensual Referee, with modi ]cations to allow nonparties to object. On April 5,201 1, Judge Tevrizian issued his Statement of Decision, "Special Master's

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Repo and Recommendation Granting, in Part, Plaintiffs' Document Production Disclosure and Publi ation Provision of the Clergy I Settlement Agreements" (the "Special Master's Report"). The Special Master's Report was filed in the Superior Court on April 8,201 1. The Settling

Parties had waived all rights of review and appeal and no motion for new trial was made and no appeql was taken. Certain non-party objecting persons filed objections to the Special Master's Report with this on the grounds of privacy rights and various privileges (the 'Won-Party Objecting Persons"). Objecting Persons lodged privilege logs and supporting declarations in support of th
[PROPOSED] ORDER RE RELEASE OF DOCUMFNTS PURSUANT TO CLERGY I SETTLEMENTS

1

ns as required by the Court's prescribed process. Five hundred and sixty-two Plaintiffs
I the objections. The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit filed objections relating to one of its

'nests. The Los Angeles Times filed a motion to intervene and object to the Special Master's Report rounds that the public has a right to know the names of Archdiocese Hierarchy who were f child sexual abuse by priests, which the Archdiocese intended to oppose on the grounds
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brought too late, after the documents had already been prepared for release, and that this

as no jurisdiction to review or modify the Special Master's Report. The Parties stipulated and the Court entered an order that the Los Angeles Times as well as sciated Press would be permitted to appear for the limited purpose of asserting objections )resentargument regarding redactions to documents at the January 7,2013 hearing. All points and authorities considered by the Court were filed in the public record. None was Certain exemplar documents prepared for production by the Archdiocese were lodged with

u t for in camera review of the redactions to the documents that were made by the
xese and the scope of information to be released. Having considered the written and oral submissions of the Settling Parties, non-party rs, including Los Angeles Times Communications LLC, the Associated Press and amicus the Court rules as follows:

1. This Court has jurisdiction to review and modify the Special Master's Report.
2. The Court acknowledges the importance of the public's access to the names and titles of Church Hierarchy contained in these files, so that the public can assess the extent of the Church's knowledge. The Court also acknowledges the time and expense the Archdiocese has already incurred to prepare the files for release in accordance with the Special Master's Report. Balancing these concerns, the Court orders the Archdiocese to unredact documents to disclose the identities as specified below: a. The Archbishop(s) and Bishop(s) in charge of the Archdiocese; b. The Vicar($ for Clergy; c. The Director of the Servants of the Paraclete, St. Luke Institnte, or any other
[PROPOSED] ORDER RE RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS PURSUANT TO CLERGY I SEITLEMENTS

similar treatment facility; d. The names of Pastors who had supervisory responsibility over a subject Priest an1 were made aware of complaints or suspicions of child sexual abuse, or were aske, to oversee the subject Priest's interaction with children; e. Any other Church agents or employees who were tasked with playing a supervisory role relative to any subject priest, or who were asked to conduct any oversight of a subject Priest; and f. Hierarchy outside the United States, including Vatican officials. 3. The names of individuals accused of child sexual abuse shall not be redacted, except as provided in paragraph 5, page 55 of the Special Master's Report, amounting to six priests.
4. The Non-Party Objecting Persons objections are overruled.

5. The documents shall be released as soon as possible, no later than the close of business
on February 22,2013.

6. Except as expressly modified by this order, the Special Master's Report remains in full
force and effect.

7. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter.
IT IS SO ORDERED.

" - -Honorable Emilie H. Elias Coordination Trial Judge

[PROPOSED] ORDER RE RELEASE OF DOCUMENTS PURSUANT TO CLERGY I SE'ITLEMENTS

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