South Carolina judge prevents journalist from viewing a divorce record

One of my pet peeves about newspaper websites is their myopic identity. If there are any newspaper publishers out there, listen up. I landed on the Aiken Standard page looking for the story of a judge who closed a public records divorce file. Excuse me, but I don’t know where the town, county or psychic space of Aiken is located. Apparently you have to know where you are to know where you are. The weather section provided the answer: South Carolina.

In an unusual move, a county clerk refused a journalist’s request to view the divorce record of a man who had recently killed himself and his children because it was “inappropriate to release that information at this time.” The judge backed her up, reasoning that the closure avoids “the premature release of information to be used in prospective law enforcement action.” What law enforcement? The guy killed himself.

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2 thoughts on “South Carolina judge prevents journalist from viewing a divorce record

  1. Just a little bit of information for the person who posted their displeasure at the journalist not being able to view the divorce record of the individual who killed himself. What investigation? you ask. Speaking as a former LEO it is standard procedure to treat what may appear to be a suicide as a homicide, until all evidence and leads are exhausted and homicide can be ruled out. Only then can it be classified as a suicide. I’m not at all surprised to hear they have an “investigation” in process. I would be most surprised if they did not. I would guess the divorce file may have information in it relevant to the investigation and releasing it may compromise the police investigation.
    Hope this helps.
    Best regards,
    California PI 24254

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