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Delaware’s Chancery Court sued for 1st Amendment violations

Non-profit says Delaware court held “secret hearings”

Something is rotten in the state of Delaware. The Delaware Coalition for Open Government Inc., a group of journalists, lawyers, elected officials, government employees and others crusading for greater governmental transparency, yesterday filed a lawsuit against five judges on the state’s Chancery Court.

The suit, Delaware Coalition for Open Government Inc. v. Strine et al, alleges that the Chancery Court held “secret hearings,” and seeks to open the court’s arbitration hearings to the public.

The non-profit group is upset since the court last year adopted new private business arbitration rules in which proceedings take place behind closed doors instead of in open court, as was previously the case.

The coalition believes that these rules lead to a “secret judicial proceeding,” and that the government should not be regressing to a state of heightened privacy.

This isn't the only issue regarding Delaware courts that has been in the news recently. Last week, reports surfaced about the House Judiciary Committee investigating introducing legislation that would change the state's bankruptcy venue rules by limiting where businesses can file for bankruptcy protection.

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony earlier this month on the possible benefits and detractors of the bill, which is still in the second stage of the legislative process. Should it survive the committee reporting process, the bill will be held up for consideration by the complete House of Representatives.

For more on the Delaware Coalition for Open Government's lawsuit, read Bloomberg.

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