MN media groups intervene in Wetterling lawsuit, call for release of Jacob case files - Bring Me The News

MN media groups intervene in Wetterling lawsuit, call for release of Jacob case files

The Wetterling family has until Friday to tell a judge which information they want holding back.

A coalition of journalism groups and media outlets have intervened in a legal case, and are calling on a judge to release files that are part of the Jacob Wetterling case.

The Wetterling family filed a restraining order against the Stearns County Sheriff's Office earlier this month, days ahead of a release of thousands of pages from the Wetterling investigation file. They argued that a small part contains highly personal information unrelated to the case, which they feel breaches their privacy.

On Monday, groups including the Minnesota Newspaper Association and media outlets including MPR, the Pioneer Press and KSTP intervened in the case, urging Judge Ann Currott to not allow the constitutional right of privacy to override the Data Practices Act.

The release of the files had been delayed after the Wetterlings filed the restraining order, and on Monday they were adamant that their privacy should be protected in spite of the intervention of Minnesota media.

A statement from the family's lawyer, Doug Kelley, said a tiny part of the file ("less than three one thousands of one percent") contains "intensely personal" information "which do not belong in a police file."

He also says it contains "misinformation of a character" that "I've never seen in 42 years in practicing criminal law."

In their intervention, the media groups state that the Wetterling family "recognizes that the records in question are classified as public" under Minnesota data laws, and fear that allowing some information to be held back could set an unwanted precedent for future public transparency cases.

The sheriff's office was set to release them after that the case was closed following the confession of Jacob Wetterling's killer, Danny Heinrich, and the subsequent discovery of his body.

The Minnesota Newspaper Association, the St. Cloud Times reports, said in response: "While sincerely sympathetic to the Wetterlings, (the MNA) believes the lawsuit poses a direct threat to the integrity of the Data Practices Act, the state law that governs the classification of government records and that requires most to be made public."

The Wetterlings have until Friday to tell Judge Ann Carrott which pages they do not feel should be released, the St. Cloud Times reports.

Next Up

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.


60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.


1 dead in early Wednesday crash on Interstate 694

The 28-year-old driver was not wearing a seatbelt, the State Patrol said.

enbridge line 3

Complaint argues that Line 3 pipeline replacement is no longer needed

Honor the Earth filed the petition with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Tuesday.

danny lee bettcher

Minnesota man who had 28 DWIs dies weeks after leaving prison

Danny Lee Bettcher is considered the most prolific drunken driver in Minnesota history.

coronavirus Wisconsin

Health leader calls Wisconsin's COVID-19 situation a 'nightmare scenario'

Wisconsin is reporting record numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.


Wetterlings given more time to fight release of 'intensely personal' case files

A judge granted an extension because "new issues" have arisen.

Jacob Wetterling case files to be released next week

The release of the files has been subject to legal challenges.

Jacob Wetterling files must be released, judge rules

Jacob's parents say some of the documents are an invasion of privacy.

Wetterling family makes statement ahead of release of Jacob case file

The investigative documents will go public on Thursday.

Wetterling case files reveal bungled response to Jacob's abduction

Tens of thousands of documents have been released on Thursday.

Remains discovered are Jacob Wetterling, medical examiner confirms

Jacob Wetterling's remains have been found, nearly 27 years after the boy disappeared, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office confirmed Saturday afternoon.