An informal hearing was held in Judge Walther’s court room Monday regarding the search warrant and the length of time it is taking to go through the "Bishop’s records" obtained from the YFZ Ranch.
During the search of the ranch Texas Rangers took into evidence 45 computers, 6 or more laptops, and nearly 1,000 boxes of Bishop’s records.
The defense for FLDS is arguing that the majority of the Bishop records are confidential due to "spiritual" nature and membership concerns... And it is a violation of their clients' first amendment rights to have the court viewing these documents.
The FLDS has an attorney reviewing the documents to state what is private. The court has an independent judge reviewing to confirm... Bob Switzer is the attorney viewing the docs.
Prosecutors want to know if there is any evidence for their case in these documents and if there is a genealogy chart amongst them. The judge wants the medical records for the children ASAP.
Here are my rough notes:
Goldstein: Much of what's in those docs are sensitive... priest/parishioner documents are all privileged medical care – find those medical records.
Switzer: The problem I am having is on one document there might be two
sentences of privilege… that's all… and I mark that out – it's taking a lot of
time...there are boxes floor to ceiling, judge, I can't go through them any
faster and I read 1100 words per minute...I am not slowing the process
Goldstein: judge most of these docs are priv. and contain membership list –
it's a violation of our clients' first amendment rights to be viewing these
Judge: the state has a compelling interest – some rights must give way for
the better interest for the child. Judge Francis is at the DPS facility and
will access the situation… allow her to review the situation and setup
guidelines for going thru records. She will be out there this week and we
can get another judge out there next week if necessary.
Switzer: I disagree – it's going to take more than just another week...We
have some docs that are from Warren Jeff's –a prophet.
Judge: No wait a minute. For communication to be made confidential it must
have been made private "everything Warren Jeffs says is spiritual advice?"
Swtizer: I'm saying it is possible – we have 45 computers, 6 or more
laptops and boxes it's going to take two to three more weeks
Judge: one concern the court has is the medical records – one child was
already ill when taken into custody – I am having trouble thinking privilege
regarding medical records. From a practical point of view – children need medical care – find those medical records.
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