May 13, 2006

Diocese, newspaper face off in court

The News Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: May 13th, 2006 01:00 AM

SPOKANE – A federal judge will decide whether a newspaper can see sex abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which wants to block their release to avoid possible disclosure of unfounded allegations against priests.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Patricia Williams has scheduled a hearing Monday on The Spokesman-Review’s request to look at versions of the claims with claimants’ names deleted.

The newspaper has formally objected to a diocese motion to seal court records in the case. Copies of the claims already have been made available to attorneys and others working on the case.

There are about 175 individual claims against the diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004 because of the sex abuse scandal.

A recent court filing in a related lawsuit said that more than a dozen abusers whose identities have not been made public are named in the claims that the newspaper seeks.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2006 07:20 AM