Thank you to all who had a part in this project…
From the letter…
Thank you for your letter of November 12,2010, regarding public access to Florida foreclosure proceedings. As you know, judicial ethics rules prohibit me from intervening in actual legal disputes pending or likely to be filed in lower courts, including the possible future litigation you mentioned with regard to an incident in Duval County.
But Canon 3C(3) of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct expressly says that “[a] judge with supervisory authority for the judicial performance of other judges shall take reasonable measures to assure … the proper performance of their other judicial responsibilities.” Under the Florida Constitution, article V, section 2(b), I am the chief administrative officer of the state courts system. I write you solely in that capacity.
The courts of Florida belong to the people of Florida. The people of Florida are entitled to know what takes place in the courts of this state. No crisis justifies the administrative suspension of the strong legal presumption that state court proceedings are open to the public.
Today I have sent to the chief judges of Florida’s twenty judicial circuits a supervisory memorandum-a copy of which is enclosed-setting forth my administrative directive on this matter. Under that directive, the chief judges shall 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 not violating the rights of Floridians by improperly closing judicial proceedings to the public. The chief judges shall promptly exercise their administrative and supervisory authority to countermand closures or impediments to access that are inconsistent with Florida law.
Charles T. Canady
You can check out the full letter below…