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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Text messages are public records, Mich. judge rules

The Detroit Free Press anticipates previewing some 1,400 previously unreleased text messages from former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former aide Christine Beatty on Monday. The messages were requested by the newspaper after prosecutors used them for Beatty's perjury case. Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny denied Kilpatrick and Beatty's right to assert a marital privilege, attorney-client privilege or deliberative-process privilege since the text messages were sent on city-issued pagers.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny has ruled that former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former aide Christine Beatty have no right to assert a legal privilege that would allow them to keep previously undisclosed text messages secret.

Kenny is giving lawyers for Kilpatrick and Beatty until Monday to appeal.

"This court does not see the existence of a valid privilege that can be asserted by Ms. Beatty or Mr. Kilpatrick at this juncture," said Kenny, in ordering the release of some 1,400 text messages held by prosecutors and previously under seal.

More here.

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