IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
April 27, 2006
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
TERRENCE CROTEAU, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, District Judge
This matter is before the Court on the (Sealed) Motion by the Government for permission to include information on its publically accessible internet site*fn1 with respect to the scheduled change in plea of the Defendant (Doc. 39). The Government notes that public disclosure of such information may, in fact, conflict with CIVIL LOCAL RULE 83.3 "Fair Trial, Free Press" (Id.). Specifically, CIV. L. R. 83.3(a), entitled "Duties of Lawyers," appears to prohibit public disclosure of "the possibility of a plea of guilty or innocence . . ." (Id.). However, the Court notes that in this instance, there is more than just a possibility that exists -- a change of plea hearing has been scheduled in this matter for May 16, 2006 (Doc. 38).
Moreover, under the Justice For All Act of 2004 (the "Act"), a district court is encouraged, when there are multiple crime victims involved in a case such as this one, fashion a reasonable procedure to ensure the victims are afforded their rights under the Act*fn2 that does not unduly complicate or prolong the proceedings.
Whereby the Court, finding that such disclosure would not create the type of harm Civ. L. R. 83.3(a) seeks to prevent, and given the strong interest in fulfilling Congress's mandate in providing information to victims via Court-approved means (the web site), hereby GRANTS the Government's Motion (Doc. 39). Accordingly, the Government is allowed to make a public disclosure on its web site of a scheduled change in plea by the Defendant. Further, this Order will not be filed under seal.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 27th day of April, 2006.
David R. Herndon United States District Judge