A federal court in New York City determined the categories of people whose names will appear in the latest tranche of materials related to Jeffrey Epstein–and how they will be able to object. The process is complicated and time-consuming.
U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Loretta Preska outlined those categories in a five-page order released Thursday afternoon.
The names will include:
(a) persons who produced or answered discovery based upon the representation or understanding that the discovery would be subject to the Protective Order previously issued in this action; (b) persons who are identified as having allegedly engaged in sexual acts with [Virginia Roberts Giuffre], or other alleged victims, or allegedly facilitated such acts; (c) persons whose intimate, sexual, or private conduct is described in the Sealed Materials; and (d) persons who are alleged to have been victimized [by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell].
That slate of names is being sourced from filings made by attorney for both Giuffre and Maxwell. Each side presumes that the people on their respective lists are likely to suffer “privacy, reputational or other” damage when and if their names are revealed in the Epstein files.
“Because the Original Parties [Giuffre and Maxwell] did not agree on one or more Non-Parties to be included in the list, the Court has resolved all such disagreements and shall issue to the Original Parties a Court-approved Non-Parties List, which shall be sealed,” the order notes–explaining that each non-party will be identified “by his or her name, which correlates to a unique pseudonymous identifier, i.e., Doe #1, Doe #2, and Doe #3.”
Preska plans to review several sealed filings at a time in order to facilitate the review on a “rolling basis and in a manageable fashion” that will take stock of each name as it appears in the secret Epstein files.
The order notes how this will work in real-time: “For example, for Doe #1, the Court would review each Sealed Item that mentions Doe #1, and would do the same for Does #2, #3, etc. This will allow the Court more easily to manage and review any objections from Non-Parties.”
Giuffre and Maxwell will be alerted via judicial minute order notifications that any given person stands to have their name revealed in any given set of documents. Both Giuffre’s and Maxwell’s attorneys will then be tasked with confidentially alerting each of the people named in the materials.
“Service shall be effected via first class certified mail, return receipt requested,” the order notes. “After service, the party causing the service shall file a certificate of service, stating the date and method of service and identifying the Non-Party by his or her pseudonymous identifier.”
Various timelines begin to toll once a named person is served notice of their presence in the Epstein files.
“Within 14 days of service of the Non-Party Notice, a Non-Party, identified by his or her pseudonymous identifier, may submit to the Court a request for excerpts of the Sealed Materials pertaining to him or her,” the order notes–giving a named person two weeks from the date of service to request context about why they were included in the sealed materials.
Upon receiving the excerpts, those people will then be granted an additional two-week time period to file objections. That’s already one month from notice of being served that they’re mentioned in the Epstein files to mount a case against the public ever knowing of their affiliation with the Epstein saga.
After filing their initial objection, there are three additional seven-day periods that allow: (1) attorneys for Giuffre and Maxwell to object to that objection; (2) attorneys for the named people to file an opposition; and (3) attorneys for Giuffre and Maxwell to file additional support for their opposition.
Those multiple timelines already stake out at least two months’ worth of waiting for the next tranche of files related to Epstein’s alleged global sex-trafficking empire for the elite. But that’s all essentially just the first step in the process.
Per Judge Preska’s order:
After objections, responses and replies have been submitted, and any evidentiary hearing held, the Court will enter a minute order setting the date and time it will decide in open court the objections lodged as to each set of motions. Appearance by any of the parties or Non-Parties is optional. The Court will determine whether each Sealed Item shall be (1) unsealed in its entirety, (2) unsealed in redacted form, or (3) kept under seal. Thereafter the Court will issue a Notification of the next set of Sealed Items to be decided.
In other words, the names that will be revealed–if they are revealed at all–shouldn’t be expected any time soon.
Read the full order below:
[image via DOJ]
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