How a judge can make a change to a communication definition
New York – A judge can change a communication’s definition and grant an ex parte application for a communication in New York, even if the communication was made in a public forum, a court official said Thursday.
The court official, who asked not to be identified because the ruling is confidential, said the judge can approve a communication without first having a written finding by a court lawyer that the communication is protected by the First Amendment.
The court official also said a communication can be protected even if it is made in the presence of someone who is not authorized to receive the communication, and a judge could still order the communication to be excluded from the public record.
The official said the ruling, by a Manhattan Supreme Court judge, makes it easier for people to sue for defamation and for other legal redress in New Zealand.
In its ruling on Thursday, the Manhattan court ruled that the public is entitled to see the definition of communication and that a public official must disclose to the public what the definition means.
The judge also ruled that public officials should be permitted to make the definition public in the public interest, even when that means limiting access to the definition, the official said.
He also said the definition is protected from disclosure, even where that means a person is required to disclose the definition to the judge in a sealed form.
It is unclear what steps the court will take to enforce the ruling.
The state’s public records law requires public officials to provide to the court a definition of communications that is publicly available.
A New York judge last year said the public can obtain a definition from a state agency or private party, but that a definition must be published on the website or in a newspaper and must not be altered in any way.
After a judge issues a communication exclusion order, the court official could issue a writ of error, saying the public has no legal right to know what the state’s definition of a communication means, the judge said.
A court official was not immediately available for comment.