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…



Supreme Court Action on Closed Court Proceedings