Attorney Gerry Weber has filed a motion in Paulding County Superior Court, on behalf of Rome government gadfly George Anderson, to unseal court filings in the divorce case of House Speaker Glenn Richardson.

Susan Richardson filed for divorce from Glenn Richardson on Feb. 6 in Paulding County, according to the court docket. The case was sealed the same day by Paulding Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge James R. Osborne, who wrote in his sealing order that “the harm otherwise resulting to the interest of the parties and their children … outweighs any public interest” in seeing the records.

Weber argues in a motion that the records should be unsealed “pursuant to Uniform Superior Court Rule 21 and the common-law and constitutional right of access to court records.”

“There are significant problems with the order – [Judge Osborne uses] the wrong standard, there are no time limitations and it seals almost the entire file,” Weber said. “These orders to seal entire records have routinely been struck down.”

Paulding Superior Court Chief Judge Tonny S. Beavers told the Daily Report last week that Paulding court has an informal process of determining which judge rules on a motion, and that Osborne “happened to be available” to pick up Richardson’s motion to seal the case. Judge Beavers said that he still retains assignment of the Richardson case and that he has not yet issued a final decree in the case.

Weber, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, said that he is advising Anderson pro bono and not on behalf of the Southern Center. Anderson also filed a complaint against Osborne with the state Judicial Qualifications Commission. Weber is not advising Anderson on the JQC complaint.

Richardson spokeswoman Clelia Davis declined to comment.

Glenn Richardson represented himself in the divorce case, and Susan Richardson did not note whether she had counsel.

SOURCE: Fulton County Daily Report in an article by Andy Peters