Des Moines Register ordered to conceal information

Iowa Supreme Court

State Supreme Court Justice prohibits publication of public court records.

Posted: Dec 15, 2017 6:40 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Supreme Court justice has taken the unusual step of temporarily ordering the state's largest newspaper not to publish the contents of court records legally obtained by one of its reporters.

The Des Moines Register says the order from Justice David Wiggins is an unconstitutional prior restraint on press freedom, and is asking the court to lift the injunction.

The Iowa Freedom of Information Council on Friday called the order an "extraordinary and very troubling action."

Des Moines attorney Jaysen McCleary had asked for the injunction, arguing the records contain his personal medical and financial information. They were available for months in Iowa's court records system in a personal injury lawsuit McCleary filed. They were obtained by investigative reporter Clark Kauffman.

Wiggins on Monday ordered Kauffman to "not disclose or share" any information from the reports pending further notice.

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