Calif. divorce privacy law overturned

May 17, 2006 at 10:10 PM

SACRAMENTO, May 17 (UPI) -- A panel of the California Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court decision overturning a 2004 law that allowed divorce records to be sealed.

The court upheld a decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal which cited the First Amendment when it overturned a 2004 law keeping certain divorce matters private.

The three-judge panel was hearing the case of Janet Burkle, ex-wife of billionaire Ronald Burkle.

The law allowed financial details to be sealed, but Janet Burkle argued that prevented her from getting what she deserved in a divorce settlement.

The Los Angeles Times reports Ronald Burkle donated more than $140,000 to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state Democratic Party.

Janet Burkle claimed the political donations helped push the California Assembly to pass the bill and the governor to sign it. Ronald denies that.

Supporters of the law claim it would prevent identity theft, kidnapping and other crimes stemming from publication of personal financial details.

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