The UCF Board of Trustees faces the possibility of major sanctions, including fines or jail time, for failing to produce records in one of the public records lawsuits it’s defending.

John Becker’s attorney, Andrea Mogensen, filed a motion for contempt against UCF for refusing to comply with court orders telling UCF to produce records relating to a controversial study by Mark Regnerus on gay and lesbian parenting.

According to the motion, Becker seeks sanctions, including fines or imprisonment, for UCF’s Board of Trustees for failure to comply with the court’s Nov. 13 order, which stated that UCF had until Nov. 14 to produce the records.

But even after UCF’s lawyers asked the court for clarification over the production of the records and received an extension to produce the records, UCF continued to disobey the court’s orders, the motion states.

“It is inexcusable – and, frankly, inexplicable – for UCF to fail to produce public records in direct contravention of a court order,” said Barbara Peterson, attorney and president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. “The university’s failure to comply shows, unfortunately, not only contempt for the court but for the public’s constitutional right of access to government records.”

John Becker, an LGBT activist, writer and blogger, filed a lawsuit against UCF back in March when he requested emails related to Mark Regnerus’s New Family Structures study. UCF houses the journal, however they denied his public records request. UCF professor James Wright is the editor of Social Science Research journal, which published the research paper at issue.

UCF insisted that Wright’s emails were not public record because they were not related to university business. The judge ruling on the issue disagreed that these records should be kept secret.

KnightNews.com asked UCF for a comment but did not immediately hear back.

http://knightnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Contempt-Motion-pdf-Adobe-Acrobat-Pro-2.pdf

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jacob Sadowsky, Great article. May I make a suggestion?
    The Defendants in the case are actually the individuals who are on the Board of Regents. Why don’t you find out who they are and send each of them an e-mail with a link to this article and ask them if they are prepared to go to Jail in order to not give up the records that the Judge Orderd released. You maybe asked an official at UCF, however the people who would go to jail are the Regents, why don’t you ask them if they know that the attorney for the school are risking their personal freedom and that they may end up in jail as Mr. Becker’s attorney requested.

    I bet the individual members of the Board of Regents have no idea what the administration and their lawyers are doing in regards to this Court Case. Do you think they know that there has been a Petition to hold them in Contempt of Court? I bet they don’t know that.

    They lost the case and that means they will have to pay Mr. Becker’s attorneys fees too. How much is this court case costing them?

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