Home > News
A new bill has been introduced by Senator Kevin Murray to allow divorcing spouses to keep financial records private.
In 2004, California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that a law that allowed Ron Burkle, a billionaire, to seal records during his divorce was unconstitutional. Lawyers representing The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and the California Newspaper Publishers Association had challenged this law.
Ron Burkle has an estimated personal wealth of $2.3 billion. During his divorce, his wife, Janet Burkle publicly accused him of hiding millions of dollars in assets.
Sen. Murray’s office has said that his intention was to protect privacy and to avoid identity theft and that Burkle did not ask him to introduce the bill in order to seal his financial records during his divorce proceedings.
During the Burkle divorce proceedings, the court found problems with the original law because it required that the judge seal an entire document because it contained financial information. Murray’s amendment to the bill, however, would require that the court simply redact the portion of information that strictly relates to financial issues that specify account numbers, or address of property.
According to Tom Newton, the general counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, this legislation would still undermine the concept of that divorce court proceedings should be public.