NEFAC, Union Leader Demand Release of Improperly Sealed N.H. Criminal Court Records

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition and Union Leader Corp. recently intervened in a New Hampshire criminal court case to demand the release of records that were improperly sealed.

The case — State of New Hampshire v. Amuri Diole — involves questions of how psychiatric evaluations are administered when individuals are in state custody. The defendant was in jail for an unrelated case but released when prosecutors could not get a required psychiatric evaluation within a 90-day window. Two days later, he allegedly attacked a woman at a cemetery.

“The records now sealed in this case that alleges serious criminality should be available for the public’s viewing and inspection,” explained NEFAC’s Gregory V. Sullivan, who serves as general counsel for Union Leader Corp., in a Feb. 2 memorandum filed in Superior Court.

“The mental health issues of the defendant have been the subject of extensive court proceedings and those records are readily available to the public,” he wrote.

Court records in the case were sealed despite much of the information they contain already being public knowledge or expected to be disclosed at trial, Sullivan said.

“The processes of the Court and the role of the County Attorney’s Office in cases of this nature are matters grave public interest and concern,” he wrote to the court. “Nowhere within the field of governmental accountability is the light of public scrutiny more critical than when it shines within our courts of law.”

NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. The coalition intervenes 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 include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry and Connecticut Public.