The American judicial system relies on the premise that all parties are equal before the Court and nobody will be given special treatment. In order to ensure that Courts are administering justice fairly, our judicial system is open to the public. This means that anyone can go to the office of the local court clerk to review a court file. The theory behind this approach is that it would be more difficult for a Court to favor one party over the other if the Court’s actions are done in public rather than in secret. In other words, sunshine is the best disinfectant. There are certain exceptions, of course. Juvenile Delinquency cases, for instance, are automatically impounded because they deal with sensitive information. Divorce cases, however, are not sealed…at least for most people.
According to the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, April 28, 2013, the wealthy and politically connected have had the option to seal their divorce cases or proceed with filing a new divorce case under their initials only, omitting their identities from their court files entirely. The reasons cited by these litigants for wanting to keep their records under seal were mostly about preserving their family’s safety and avoiding public embarrassment.
Most people, when divorcing, share these same concerns about their personal information being in a public record. Isn’t it time that the Courts treated the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy equally? Why is it appropriate for the average person’s name, address, birthdate and other potentially identifiable information be made available to the public when the famous person can avoid such public disclosure? Internet crimes and online identity theft are a real concern for everyone, not just the rich and famous.
Is your divorce attorney protecting your identity? You should ask. To learn more about how to protect your identity in divorce litigation, contact the divorce attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-172-9700 or CLICK HERE.