Judge Lefkow Grants Motion To Unseal Documents In Diane Bond Case

In a memorandum opinion and order dated July 2, 2007, Northern District of Illinois Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow has granted a motion seeking to strike the confidential designation of documents produced during discovery by the the City of Chicago in a suit brought by Diane Bond. The motion was brought by Jamie Kalven, a self-described writer and journalist. In granting the motion, Judge Lefkow stated: "Court related documents, even those not part of the judicial record, are presumed to be accessible to the public. The documents at issue in this case involve allegations of police misconduct, including the harassment and abuse of public housing residents, a particularly vulnerable group of citizens, and thus touch upon matters of grave public concern. The privacy interests of the defendant officers are diminished because of their status as public officials, and those interests that remain are served by the redaction of certain information from the requested documents. Balancing these interests, good cause no longer exists for shielding the requested materials from public inspection." (Mem. Op. at p. 8).