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US Attorney Seeks Blanket Protective Orders Before SDNY Judges Gardephe After Nathan

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Aug 28 – The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has begun systematically requesting or demanding blanket protective orders, in case from false complaints to felon in possession of a firearm and, as Inner City Press will soon oppose, sex trafficking.

  In the first case, Cortez Fowlkes is charged with making false 911 calls claiming that people were drowning in the Hudson and Harlem rivers.

Then the U.S. Attorney's Office sought a protective order for the discovery it would produce, reported saying it did not want to "see the information on Twitter."   

 On August 19, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison Nathan held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitzi S. Steiner told Judge Nathan that the discovery would show law enforcement techniques - nearly always the case - and arguing that "finally, the defendant files to articule why public access to pre-trial discovery is warranted in this case."  

But this reverses the presumption of public and press access, as this U.S. Attorney's Office is doing or colluding through silence in doing more and more.

Judge Nathan  rejected the proposed protective order.

That case is US v. Fowlkes, 20-cr-309 (Nathan)

 On August 28 Judge Paul G. Gardephe rejected a similar blanket protective order in the felon in possession prosecution US v. Hoskins, 20-cr-399 (Gardephe). Judge Gardephe said that redaction of such information as Tax IDs would be preferable. The case was put back on for October 2.

He also noted that he faces a similar request for a blanket protective order in US v. Dejesus, et al., 20-cr-397 (Gardephe).

And Inner City Press is aware of, and will be opposing, a similar attempt to go further and submit discovery material into the record before a judge in a sex trafficking case while withholding it in full from the Press and public. Watch this site.


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