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Turn over LA priest files to court

  Legal Business  -   POSTED: 2012/12/11 17:11

A judge on Monday ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to turn over to the court the top-secret files it has kept for decades on dozens of priests accused of sex abuse, bringing the documents closer to public scrutiny.

The order by Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias came five years after more than 550 alleged victims reached a record-breaking, $660 million settlement with the archdiocese that also called for the public unsealing of the confidential files.

Individual priests have been fighting to keep the records closed, but the California Supreme Court declined to intervene earlier this year after a lower court decision in a related case cleared the way for the release of the documents.

Elias gave the archdiocese until Dec. 27 to give her the files on 69 priests to review and then set a hearing for early January to consider arguments from priests who want to keep their files private.

The judge will also hear objections to a previous order that allows the archdiocese to black out the names of some clerics and the church officials who handled the priests. The Los Angeles Times has filed court papers objecting to the order and had an attorney in court Monday.


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