DELPHI, Ind. (Scripps News Indianapolis) — The new attorneys for Richard Allen are asking the Indiana Supreme Court to make access to court filings more public and easier to access after they claim there’s been a lack of “meaningful” public access in the case.
In a court document filed Monday, the attorneys for Allen, who is accused of killing Abigail Williams and Liberty German in Delphi in 2017, claim that hundreds of documents in the case have been improperly excluded from the public.
The attorneys state that 118 documents in the case have been excluded from public access.
They also claim that the court has failed to perform the “clear, absolute and imperative duty imposed by” the access to court records rules, which state that court records must be publicly accessible.
According to their claim, documents are not only being excluded but made difficult to follow for the average member of the public.
“The only way a member of the public can access anything in this case is if they somehow know to read the June 28, 2023 order, see the link embedded therein, and then proceed to open each of the 118 documents until they find the filing they are looking for,” attorneys state.
Additionally, they state that two documents have been excluded, including 1.) a June 2023 filing by the Carroll County Sheriff and 2.) a July 5, 2023 letter from a D.O.C. inmate.
The attorneys also claim that the trial court in the case has removed documents from the public without any notice.
Particularly, they claim that the trial court has removed documents from public access that Richard Allen has specifically requested his “chosen counsel” to file on his behalf.
The attorneys ask the court for a Writ of Mandamus ordering that the 118 documents be made publicly accessible and that the two documents listed above are only excluded if they are in compliance with the Access to Court Records rules.
“If there was ever a time when the openness mandated by the Trial Rules and Access to Court Records Rules was critical, it is the present case — one of the most high-profile cases this state has ever seen” they state.
According to their claim, a writ of mandamus will ensure that going forward the court is following rules regarding public access without exception.
This story was originally published by Scripps News Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps Company.