Providian construed California Rules of Court, rules If abuse of discretion is the standard of review, this case is easily resolved. The trial court gave detailed and reasoned rulings disclosing its rationale and its concerns balancing the competing interests of Jackson to have a fair trial and the public's right to be apprised of judicial proceedings.
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Judge Melville's rulings reflect careful and reasoned analysis and insight into the important constitutional principles involved. His rulings are anything but arbitrary, capricious or whimsical. Providian is the only published decision analyzing California Rules of Court, rule Unlike the instant case, Providian reviewed an order to unseal documents relating to trade secrets.
In dicta, Providian acknowledged that review of an order to unseal is unlike an order to seal. First we would examine the express findings of fact required by rule The examination for substantial evidence is made on the basis of the entire record. Here, however, we review the decision to unseal parts of a record already filed under seal. Motions to unseal records are governed by rule When the issue is substantial evidence, the reviewing court asks whether the evidence supports the court's findings. Such evidence must be reasonable in nature, credible, and of solid value.
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Bolden 29 Cal. Providian would thus combine two highly deferential standards in reviewing an order to seal. Providian's rationale arguably is persuasive in applying an abuse of discretion standard of review when deciding the propriety of an order to unseal documents relating to trade secrets. We doubt whether it is the appropriate standard when sealing the type of documents involved in the instant case. Our Supreme Court, relying on Bose, concluded that cases implicating First Amendment rights are subject to independent review.
This standard requires the court to make an independent examination of the whole record.
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Bose, supra, U. Because the trier of fact is in a superior position to observe the demeanor of witnesses, credibility determinations are not subject to independent review, nor are findings of fact that are not relevant to the First Amendment issue. As noted above, under the substantial evidence standard, the question is whether any rational trier of fact could find the legal elements satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas under independent review, an appellate court exercises its independent judgment to determine whether the facts satisfy the rule of law.
Here, the trial court did not take testimony.
There is no credibility of witnesses to determine. It considered the court record that we review.
In these circumstances, independent review is the equivalent of de novo review, the standard we use in deciding this appeal. California U. Inzunza S. Warner Communications, Inc. Maxwell U. In the performance of that duty, a trial judge may remove from public scrutiny a recording containing data or material that, if publicized prior to trial, could result in publicity so inherently prejudicial as to endanger a fair trial. Craemer v.
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Superior Court U. State Bar of Nevada U. Stuart U. Our Supreme Court set forth the test to be used in balancing these two precious rights. Superior Court 20 Cal. The court concluded that most judicial proceedings and records are subject to a presumption of openness. When the presumption applies, the public has a qualified right of access. These principles are codified in California Rules of Court, rule We have reviewed the entire record de novo and conclude that the order sealing the warrant materials meets the standards set forth in NBC Subsidiary and California Rules of Court, rule We disagree that sealing the indictment was necessary to protect any overriding interest.
Hobbs 7 Cal. The page search warrant affidavit contains graphic and detailed descriptions of Jackson's alleged sexual misconduct with two minors, one in the present case, and one in a prior case settled 10 years ago. To release the details of the alleged crimes to the public would likely be embarrassing, if not devastating, to the minors.
It also would result in public dissemination of evidence, which may or may not be admissible at the trial. The privacy of minors and the protection of a defendant from the public dissemination of inaccurate information or inadmissible evidence are two interests that may override the public's qualified right of access. NBC Subsidiary, supra, 20 Cal. We have reviewed the affidavit and agree with the trial court that sealing was necessary to protect these overriding interests.
NBC argues that the privacy interests of the minors do not trump the public's First Amendment right to access, citing Copley Press, Inc. Superior Court 63 Cal.
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In Copley, the media asserted that a student's privacy interest in the amount of a settlement did not outweigh the public's right to know every detail about criminal activity at a public school. The appellate court agreed, finding no compelling reason existed to conceal the amount of damages in a settlement between a minor sexual assault victim and the school's insurer. Unlike Copley, this is a criminal action involving accusations of sexual relationships with a minor. Copley is a civil action in which the minor defendant asserted a privacy interest in the amount of a monetary settlement.
Moreover, the conduct alleged here is such that public disclosure prior to trial could lead to moral judgments and public outrage, severely prejudicing Jackson's right to a fair trial. The prosecution's investigation did not end with Jackson's indictment. Following the indictment, more than 65 additional search warrants were executed.
We conclude the warrant affidavit was properly sealed to achieve the government's compelling interest in the protection of its continuing investigation. Valenti 11th Cir. United States 9th Cir. These circumstances reflect an overriding interest justifying a sealing order. NBC argues that the trial court placed undue emphasis on Jackson's celebrity status and that this factor cannot be used to justify sealing.
Stewart 2d Cir.
Each defendant is well known to the general public and each case involves allegations of criminal conduct. But Martha Stewart committed a white-collar crime. Here we have child molestation charges. The difference between giving false information in a stock trading investigation and allegedly molesting a child is self-evident. The possibility of prejudice arising from disclosure of the details of a crime that the public has little knowledge of or interest in can hardly be compared to the extreme prejudice which would result from disclosing details of alleged acts of child molestation, a crime that everyone understands and condemns.
Here, it is the combination of celebrity status, the crimes alleged and the ongoing criminal investigation that justifies sealing. While commercial harm or embarrassment of a party does not alone justify sealing the entire record of a case Wilson v. American Motors Corp. See Doe v. See People v. Cooper  53 Cal. Stuart, supra, U. Under "Resources," fact sheets and FAQs are available to download, print and share.
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The deadline to apply for Phase I funding is Nov. Read full Press Release. Looking to file an application to reduce your property tax assessment? Click here for more information on the Assessment Appeals process, mandatory filing fees, and to download the current form. County of Santa Barbara One County. One Future. He requested rescission of his client's "unjustified termination" and reinstatement of his benefits upon Hittle's return of his retirement contributions.
The letter indicated that at the time Hittle was released by his chiropractor to return to work he was still "totally temporarily disabled. Kemp, W. Gordon Smith, and Strait. The personnel director referred this letter to the director of the public works department. In letters dated June 22, and June 26, , the director rejected Hittle's request on the basis that the additional medical reports did not provide timely satisfactory evidence of good cause for Hittle's absence. The director further stated that he continued to rely on the medical report of Dr. Bluhm, submitted by Hittle at the time of his termination.
On July 30, , Hittle's attorney wrote a letter to the county treasurer, offering to return to SBCERA his client's contributions plus interest, in return for reinstatement of his right to request disability retirement. In a one-sentence letter dated August 20, , the county treasurer notified Hittle's attorney that the retirement board had denied "your request for Mr. Hittle to redeposit his retirement contributions so that he might apply for a disability retirement. A month and a half later, on September 15, , Hittle's attorney wrote to the assistant county treasurer requesting reconsideration by the retirement [39 Cal.
Enclosed were his client's declaration, the medical reports of several doctors including each of those named above , and a formal points and authorities. On November 19, , the assistant county treasurer, on behalf of SBCERA, replied simply that "[t]he motion was made seconded and passed that the Retirement Board would not accept the application of William T. Hittle for Service Connected Disability Retirement.
Hittle sought judicial review 85 days following the denial of his request for reconsideration.