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COA orders hearing on man’s request to remove name from JTAC website

February 20, 2013

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that it has no authority to remove a man’s name from the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee website and law enforcement databases after a protective order against him was dismissed. But the judges remanded for a hearing before the trial court on David Cook’s claims.

Cook’s wife obtained an ex parte order for protection from him in Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division 21 in May 2012. The matter was then transferred to Civil Division 12 at the wife’s request because that court had jurisdiction over their divorce and custody proceedings. A second protective order was issued in June without a hearing.

He filed a motion in civil court to correct error and for a hearing. He wanted the protective order removed from posting in public databases. The civil court said the matter should be addressed by criminal court since it issued the protective order; the criminal court also denied relief and transferred the matter back to the civil court.

The protective order was terminated in July 2012.

In In Re: The Matter of: David Woodward Cook v. Beth Ann Cook, 49A04-1207-PO-370, Cook alleged the electronic posting of a protective order without a hearing violated his due process rights. He said having his name publicly posted could cause severe consequences with employers and peers.

The state agreed that Cook was wrongfully deprived of a hearing and suggested that he have a hearing in civil court to seek relief. Cook, instead, wanted the Court of Appeals to directly order the removal of his name from the JTAC website and law enforcement databases.

“We are not in a position to afford Cook the immediate relief he seeks. We agree with the State that Cook was entitled to a hearing in the civil court and was, by the sequence of transfers, conflicting orders, and dismissal, denied his statutory right,” Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote. “However, if Cook wishes to assert that the Act is unconstitutional as applied to him because of its injury to his reputation and negative impact upon his employability, it is incumbent upon him to develop a factual record.”

 

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