NEFAC, Union Leader Corp. Argue for Release of Sealed N.H. Superior Court Documents

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition and Union Leader Corp. recently argued for the release of New Hampshire Superior Court documents that were inappropriately sealed and kept from the public.

The sealed documents include records about the policies and procedures within the Hillsborough County Attorney’s office. They are part of an ongoing case in which the office has been admonished for missing deadlines, ignoring court orders and, in the judge’s words, an “administrative breakdown.”

In an Oct. 8 memorandum filed on behalf of NEFAC and the Union Leader, attorney Gregory V. Sullivan explained that, among other requirements, there must be a “sufficiently compelling reason” to keep the documents secret.

“The records now sealed in this criminal case all apparently relate to the conduct of governmental actors and agents during the performance of their official and public duties,” Sullivan wrote. “All members of the public have the right to know how well, or not well, their agents and servants are doing in providing the public services paid for with taxpayers’ funds.”

“Nowhere within the field of governmental accountability is the light of public scrutiny more critical than when it shines within our courts of law,” he added.

NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. The coalition regularly participates in cases involving First Amendment freedoms and the public’s right to know about government. All coalition briefs, advocacy letters and statements can be found here.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Leadership Circle donors for 2021 include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston and the Academy of New England Journalists.