Rene Stuzman of the Orlando-Sentinel is reporting today that,
That secret homeowners association settlement with Trayvon Martin’s family may not remain secret much longer.
The 12 page document was filed on April 4th, the same as the Writ by Defense so it may be part of the official record for the Appeals Court to consider if it accepts it.
After the filing the Clerk informed Crump that according to rules, it did not meet the criteria to remain sealed and that it would be released to the public in 10 days. You can read her letter here:
for the rest of the story.
The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Orlando reported on Friday, that details of a secret settlement between the Martin family and the HOA at Retreat at Twin Lakes had been
reached. The purported settlement said to have been in excess of 1 million dollars, was reached several months ago.
The information came to light when Attorney Benjamin Crump filed some papers in court to add to the Zimmerman case. The details of the settlement and most of the details were redacted, so the details are murky. The documents were to be kept under seal but the Judge has given Crump 10 days to argue as to why, otherwise the all the documents will be released to the public.
There has been a lot of speculation as the reason for the filling since George Zimmerman was not a party to the settlement or named in the agreement. The settlement had a non-disclosure clause and this filling may breach the agreement, but it is believed that Crump wanted the settlement on the record to demonstrate that he was indeed the opposing counsel, and bolster his case for not having to submit to a deposition, after the Defense filed a Petition for Writ from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, to force Crump to testify under oath in a deposition.
Some legal analyst are seeing this filling as to late to affect the Writ, as it was not part of the record at the time the Judge had rendered her ruling baring Crump from testifying. If that is the case then Crump revealed information of the settlement needlessly, and revealed something that the family may have preferred to remain confidential.
“It is understood and agreed that the payment made herein is not to be construed as an admission of any liability by or on behalf of the releasing parties; but instead the monies being paid here under is consideration for avoiding litigation, the uncertainties stemming from litigation as well as to protect and secure the good name and good will of the released parties,” the settlement said.
The next few days will be interesting as we should hear word from the Appeals Court regarding the Writ and to see if public opinion of the Family will change after the revelation of the settlement.