Judge slaps down media attorneys motion
December 12, 2003
A judge told media attorneys Friday that they’d have to argue their civil cases separately from the criminal hearings in the Kobe Bryant case.
Attorneys for several media outlets asked that their civil cases be heard simultaneously with the criminal proceedings against Bryant. Media attorneys asserted that the County Court overstepped its bounds when it ordered the preliminary hearing partially closed and the transcript partially sealed.
District Judge Terry Ruckriegle, who’s hearing the Bryant case now, denied the media attorneys’ request and ruled that if they wanted their cases heard, they’d have to do it on their own time.
Media attorneys, Ruckriegle wrote, allege that their two civil cases and the criminal case involve “common questions of law and fact.” Media attorneys also argued that it serves “no useful purpose for all three alternative routes to proceed on parallel tracks.”
In his ruling, Ruckriegle disagreed completely. He said that in filing their civil cases, the media attorneys established those three parallel tracks.
“There is no rule or statute in Colorado civil or criminal procedure which permits consolidation of civil and criminal cases, even when such matters allegedly involve the same issues of fact and law,” Ruckriegle wrote.
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Bryant is charged with one count of felony sexual assault, stemming from allegations that he raped a 19-year-old Eagle woman on June 30 at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. Bryant was staying at the hotel; the woman was employed there.
Attorneys for both sides are due next in court at9 a.m., Friday, Dec. 19, for a hearing to partially determine what information will be admitted during the trial as evidence, and what will not.