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NASCAR CEO loses appeal to keep his divorce records private

As many residents across Nevada, and throughout the country, prepared for the coming of 2013, NASCAR CEO Brian France and his team of lawyers prepared for a court decision that could have meant the difference between keeping his privacy secured and airing his dirty laundry for the nation to see.

Like with most high-asset divorces, France wanted to keep the details of his 2008 divorce from ex-wife Megan France, a Charlotte woman with whom he had been married and divorced from twice, confidential and private. But according to North Carolina law, most divorces are treated as public record that may be open to inspection at anytime.

For several years now, France had fought to keep his divorce records secret; but after a 2011 appeals court judge ruled that the public’s right to the court proceedings outweighed France’s interest to maintain secrecy and ordered the records be unsealed, France once again found himself fighting to keep his privacy.

Although he managed to keep the records sealed during the time his appeal was being considered, just before the end of 2012, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the original decision to unseal the records. Because of the unanimous decision, France will not be allowed automatic appeal to the N.C. Supreme Court.

People here in Nevada count themselves lucky because our legal system allows parties involved in a divorce to fill out a written request that keeps divorce documents sealed from public inspection. This is especially good in high asset divorces, or for very private people, who want to make sure that their private lives aren’t put out on public display for anyone to see.

Source: The Nevada Appeal, “Court upholds order on NASCAR CEO’s divorce case,” Michael Biesecker, Dec. 31, 2013

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