Judge Agrees With Saget's Family, Blocks Release for Now

Applies to any photos, video, or other records related to the investigation into his death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 16, 2022 2:41 PM CST
Judge Agrees With Saget's Family, Blocks Release for Now
Bob Saget arrives at a screening of "MacGruber" on Dec. 8, 2021, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

A judge in Florida on Wednesday agreed with a request from the family of comedian Bob Saget and temporarily prohibited the release of any photos, video, or other records related to the investigation into his death, saying that doing so would cause them irreparable harm. Saget's wife, Kelly Rizzo, and his three daughters filed a lawsuit the previous day in Orlando, Florida, asking the state judge for a ruling that would prohibit the release of any records from the local medical examiner's office and the Orange County Sheriff's Office involving the probe into Saget's death.

Circuit Judge Vincent Chiu issued the temporary injunction, saying that Saget's family would suffer "severe mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress" if the request wasn't granted. He said the injunction was in the public's interest as he decides whether the family's privacy concerns outweigh any claims for the records to be released. During the course of the autopsy and death investigation, the medical examiner's office and sheriff's office created graphic videos and photos of Saget's body, as well as audio recordings, the AP reports.

Under a Florida law passed following the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt two decades ago, records related to autopsies are required to be kept confidential, with only surviving family members or a government agency as part of its official duties allowed to view them. However, "upon a showing of good cause," a court can allow the records to be viewed or copied under the supervision of the records' custodian, and some media outlets have already filed requests for them, according to the family's lawsuit. In allowing the records to be viewed, a judge must consider the seriousness of the intrusion into the family's privacy, among other criteria, according to the law. "No legitimate public interest would be served by the release or dissemination of the records to the public," said the lawsuit by Saget's family. (Read more Bob Saget stories.)

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