final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Petition for writ of certiorari to the Circuit Court for the
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Elizabeth Anne
Scherer, Judge; L.T. Case No. 18-001958CF10A.
Finkelstein, Public Defender, and Diane M. Cuddihy, Chief
Assistant Public Defender, Fort Lauderdale, for petitioner.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Marc B. Hernandez,
West Palm Beach, for respondent.
J. McElroy, James J. McGuire, and Daniela B. Abratt of Thomas
& LoCicero PL, Fort Lauderdale, for Sun-Sentinel Company,
Cruz petitions for certiorari review of the trial court's
order denying his motion to prevent disclosure of the names
of experts who may visit him in jail. We deny the petition
because petitioner has not shown that the trial court's
order departs from the essential requirements of law. More
specifically, he failed to overcome that the jail's
visitor logs are public records with no statutory exemption
for the experts' names within those logs.
is in jail in the custody of the Broward County Sheriff,
having been charged with seventeen counts of first-degree
murder and seventeen counts of attempted first-degree murder.
He moved for a protective order to prevent disclosure of that
portion of the jail visitation logs which would reveal the
names of mental health experts who may visit him, retained in
connection with his defense. Petitioner acknowledged that the
visitation logs were public records but offered three reasons
to support his position that the actual names of
visitors on them were not required to be part of that record
or that they were protected from disclosure.
he argued that the experts' names contained in the log
should not be considered a public record because they do not
fit within the purpose of the Public Records Act, which is
"to open public records to allow Florida's citizens
to discover the actions of their government." Bent
v. State, 46 So.3d 1047, 1049 (Fla. 4th DCA 2010)
(quoting Christy v. Palm Beach Cnty. Sheriff's
Office, 698 So.2d 1365, 1366 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997)).
petitioner argued that disclosing the experts' names was
a matter of attorney client privilege and work product, and
therefore he was not required reveal them until he designated
them as witnesses for trial. See Fla. R. Crim. P.
petitioner claimed that disclosing the names would damage his
right to a fair trial.
State and Intervenor Sun-Sentinel argued in response that the
logs were public records and there was no statutory exemption
under section 119.011, Florida Statutes (2018), to shield the
names of an inmate's visitors. The newspaper
also argued that petitioner failed to satisfy the three-part
test of Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Lewis, 426
So.2d 1 (Fla. 1982), for a trial court to restrict access to
records in order to insure a defendant a fair
trial court agreed, and addressed petitioner's claim that
disclosure of the logs would damage his right to a fair trial
The defense may have a myriad of experts from different
specialty backgrounds visit Defendant at jail during the
course of its pretrial investigation and preparation, some of
whom the defense may likely use as witnesses at trial and
some whom it may likely not. However, the actual
communications that occur between these experts and Defendant
within the jail are not subject to release as public
records[.] It is merely the identities of these visitors that
would be subject to public ...