Court Rules Ellison Divorce Records Will Be Unsealed

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison Photo: AP/David Zalubowski
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison

October 12, 2018 03:14 PM

A court in Hennepin County has ruled the divorce records of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and his ex-wife will be unsealed.

The referee in the matter issued his decision Friday. The documents will be unsealed next Wednesday, except for documents or portions of them that contain "restricted identifiers" or "financial source documents."

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Ellison's attorney Carla Kjellberg said Friday her client will appeal for a stay of the order.

"Keith and Kim Ellison remain jointly opposed to this effort to exploit the details of their personal life, and the lives of their children, for political gain," she said in a statement. "Ms. Ellison has been clear that there was no abuse by Mr. Ellison before, during, or after their marriage. We will be appealing for a stay against this intrusion into the privacy of their family life."

RELATED: Court Weighs Whether or Not to Unseal Ellison Divorce Records

Lawyers for the Star Tribune had filed a motion, seeking to unseal the records. A similar motion was filed by Alpha News, a conservative website.

On Friday, a lawyer for Alpha News praised the decision.

"Today's decision was a victory for transparency in our elections," a statement read. "Minnesota frequently has the highest voter turnout in the country and today's order will help ensure voters can make informed decisions about candidates for public office."  

On Tuesday, attorneys for the Star Tribune had argued all divorce cases in Minnesota are presumptively open, and that the burden is on Ellison and his attorneys to keep the records closed in this case. They argued there is strong public interest in seeing what's in the files because Ellison is running for statewide office.

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Kjellberg argued the only reason the motion has been filed was because of Monahan's allegations, and that the court should review the file and make public anything related to physical violence if it is there. However, Alpha News is not an objective entity, the attorney said, arguing they sponsored an anti-Ellison rally Monday.

She also argued the court should have destroyed documents in the file already based on retention policies. Lawyers for the Star Tribune asked that no records be destroyed in the matter while the motion to unseal is being considered.
 

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