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Old November 25, 2012, 10:46 AM   #49
Rainbow Demon
Senior Member
Join Date: September 27, 2012
Posts: 397
Record sealing is the practice of sealing or, in some cases, destroying court records that would otherwise be publicly accessible as public records. The term is derived from the tradition of placing a seal on specified files or documents that prevents anyone from reviewing the files without receiving a court order. The modern process and requirements to seal a record and the protections it provides vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even between civil and criminal cases.

Generally, record sealing can be defined as the process of removing from general review the records pertaining to a court case. However, the records may not completely disappear and may still be reviewed under limited circumstances; in most instances it requires a court order to unseal records once they are sealed. In the United States some states order records to be destroyed after they are sealed. Once a record is sealed, in some states, the contents are legally considered never to have occurred and are not acknowledged by the state.

The public policy of record sealing balances the desire to free named citizens from the burdens caused by the information contained in state records while maintaining the state's interest in the preservation of records that may be beneficial to the state or other citizens.[1]

In many cases, if you seal your record, you gain the legal right to deny or fail to acknowledge anything to do with the arrest and the legal proceedings from the case itself.[2]
Its not uncommon for lawsuits involving liability when no criminal charges are brought to end up with records sealed and non disclosure statements signed as a stipulation of the settlement.

I doubt the OP is a lawyer, newsman, or private investigator.

Invasion of privacy by news reporters is allowed on basis of whether the story is "news worthy" simply revealing to the public contents of court documents that are of a sensitive nature can result in liable or slander charges, absolute truth is not an absolute defense (since 2009) if invasion of privacy causes un necessary harm to the person who's privacy has been invaded and the information was disclosed with malicious intent.

Stroll down to your local hospital and simply ask for any patient's medical files, let me know how that turns out.

In the Christec lawsuit the judge made a very good statement , "newspaper clippings are not evidence".
A news paper story is not "documentation" anymore than forty-fifty year old memories of events found in an autobiography can be considered as documentation.

An example of difficulty in having records of an accidental shooting unsealed.

The shooter is on trial for a shooting spree, and the supposedly accidental shooting of her brother years earlier might be used against her, or the earlier case reopened for a second look.

another example

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; November 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM.
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