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Friday, December 28, 2007

Illinois Ombuds: Open Those Warrants!

Search warrants are public records, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says.

In a written opinion issued Monday, Madigan said the state Freedom of Information Act, which contains dozens of reasons why government information can be kept secret, does not apply to court records.

Rather, she said, the records are open under the Clerk of Courts Act, which says virtually all court documents are public.

“There is no statutory or other authority for a circuit clerk to unilaterally seal or impound files containing complaints for search warrants, associated affidavits, and the search warrants themselves,” Madigan wrote.

More here.

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