This week in public records – Florida – Military

A committee appointed by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis is recommending public hearings before a judge can seal a court file.

Rules drafted by the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers would require judges to hold a public hearing before sealing any court record. Today, such hearings are not required.

Court clerks would have to post advance notice of such hearings online and at the courthouse. Today, court rules require only that ”reasonable” public notice be given that court records have been closed — a requirement that Broward judges have sometimes ignored.

The new rules, which are subject to approval by the Supreme Court, also propose that judges who seal court records explain in writing exactly what information they are closing off from the public. The proposed rules make no provision for hiding case numbers — a practice called ”super-sealing” that veils the very existence of a case.

The U.S. military is inviting the public to honor those who served by submitting biographies, posted at Registry of the American Soldier. The site offers” Army veterans and their families with a permanent record of their personal military history, listing any Soldier who has ever served by name, rank and the details of their service–regardless of era, conflict or theater.”

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