And that secret is that he apparently doesn't follow the law when it comes to sealing civil files and making them secret.
The Herald reports that Judge Daryl Trawick has been caught with his fingers in the sealed files cookie jar. More succinctly, the Herald located an order sealing a civil file. The problem is that Judge Trawick did not follow the Florida Supreme Court’s mandatory procedures for sealing a court file.
You can view Judge Trawick’s order on the link below to the Herald Article.
The order included the language “said sealment shall seal the Court file from public view by anyone, ever until the end of the earth.”
Maybe because we don’t practice civil law, but that language seems awful strange to us.
The Herald further reported HERE
"Judge Trawick is one of two Miami-Dade judges who admitted this year to approving the alteration of criminal court dockets to disguise the fact that defendant/informants had pleaded guilty to various criminal charges.
In Florida, it's a crime for anyone, even a judge, to falsify court records. But no charges have been filed against Trawick or the other judge, Victoria Sigler."
What is disturbing is that the Judge has previously admitted engaging in the same conduct that prompted the Florida Supreme Court to step in and issue emergency amendments to the rules regarding sealing files. And yet here is the Judge barely four months later sealing a civil file without following any of the procedures the Supreme Court requires. Judge Trawick has otherwise earned high praise from the lawyers who have appeared before him, so we think he is entitled to the benefit of doubt here. Perhaps there is a legal explanation.
At 945 So.2d 16( Fla. 2007) (Blog note- this maybe the very first time in over 700 posts we have actually published a cite) The Florida Supreme Court on April 5, 2007 issued an emergency amendment to the rules of Judicial Administration requiring that before a non-criminal record is sealed, the following procedures are followed:
1. A request to make court records in noncriminal cases confidential must be made by written motion.
2. A public hearing must be held on any contested sealing motion and may be held on certain uncontested sealing motions.
3. A sealing order issued by a court must state with specificity the grounds for sealing and the findings of the court that justify sealing.
If you review Judge Trawick’s order on the link above you will see that at the very least the order, signed four months after the new procedures went into effect, does not state with specificity (or even address the issue at all) the grounds for sealing the record, nor does the order state the findings of the court justifying the sealing.
Secret orders undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. (No comment on lawyers' confidence in the judiciary, please.)
Judges who do not follow the law, especially when they have been prominently mentioned in earlier episodes for not following the law, cause serious problems.
We would be happy to hear from Judge Trawick as to why a Circuit Court Judge apparently does not follow the law when it comes to sealing files.
And while he's at it, isn't that "ever until the end of the earth" language a bit melodramatic? Wouldn't a hundred years be sufficient? How about "Until the Dolphins win the Super Bowl."? That ain't happening again in our lifetime. If we had an embarrassing matter we wanted sealed, we would probably feel secure with "until the Dolphins have a winning season."
Scientists believe that in another 5,000 million years, give or take a million years, the sun will run out of hydrogen, spelling the end of the earth as we know it. Did whoever came up with that language really think that our distant descendants will be sitting around saying "just another few years until the Sun dies. I hope we can get a peek at those files Judge Trawick sealed in the 21st Century while there is still enough light to read them."
You want to make sure a file isn't seen?
Just give it to our criminal clerks and tell them to take it to the ninth floor. We guarantee you that beyond the "end of the earth" it will disappear into that black bottomless void known as "the file room" never again to be seen by prying human eyes.
See You In Court.
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