April 17, 2006

High court won't interfere with subpoenas

Monterey Herald

Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere in a California prosecutor's efforts to obtain confidential counseling records kept by the Catholic Church on two priests under investigation for molesting children.

The justices, without comment, declined to hear the church's appeal of a state court ruling that permitted the Los Angeles district attorney to subpoena records generated by the bishop and the priests in dealing with concerns about child sexual abuse.

The subpoenas are significant because similar records are being sought in hundreds of lawsuits filed by sexual abuse victims across the nation. According to the church's filing, counseling records are being sought in more than 500 victims' lawsuits in California alone.

The 14 documents sought in the DA's investigation include letters to and from the bishop and the priests, along with details from their confessions and treatment.

Posted by kshaw at April 17, 2006 10:54 AM