Clay Calvert Comments on Florida’s Trouble-Plagued Guardianship Program
Clay Calvert, director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, was quoted in “Court Records Helped Expose Flaws in Florida’s Guardianship System. Industry Lawyers Want to Make Guardianship Court Records Confidential” published in the Orlando Sentinel on Sept. 8.
The article features an attempt to rewrite a Florida law that would block public access to guardianship court records by making them confidential. Critics claim that this move would create a lack of transparency that could foster exploitation.
Calvert argues that any legislation that has a confidentiality provision should at least allow an exception for cases in which the public interest requires disclosure.
“The last thing that a problem-plagued system such as this needs is a confidentiality provision that thwarts transparency,” Calvert said. “Without transparency, there can’t be accountability for the guardian system. … There is a public interest in ensuring the state is safeguarding and protecting the ward from abuse.”