Doe v. White (Confidential Flag)

In 2018, the Law Center learned more about the State Judiciary’s use of a confidential flag for normal civil court cases.  The confidential flag seals the entire case from public view, including the names of the parties, the docket, and the identities of counsel.  Subsequent motions to unseal in specific cases raised questions about whether these cases generally deserved this extreme level of secrecy.  One case was an employment dispute involving GEICO Insurance Company (No. 1CC131002053), and another case concerned disputes over the union nonprofit Unity House (No. 1CC000056396).  At the request of the Law Center, the State Judiciary provided the case numbers for all regular civil cases filed in circuit court with a confidential flag since 2005.

On June 29, 2021, the Law Center moved to unseal files in another case.  The court subsequently removed the confidential flag from the case, captioned Jane Doe v. Colin D. White, Renee White, 21st Century Lighting Enterprises LLC, and 21st Century Lighting Enterprises Inc.  No. 1CC051000863.  The court initially prohibited the Law Center from disclosing the identity of the defendants and redacted defendants’ identities from unsealed documents.  The Law Center challenged that order in a petition for mandamus; on remand, the Law Center moved to unseal records and vacate the prohibition on disclosing defendants’ names on May 16, 2022.  On December 23, 2022, the court lifted the gag order on the Law Center and ordered the names of defendants publicly released in court records.

Court Requests for Complaint

Formerly Redacted Filings