October 21st, 2020

Unsealing files poses ‘grave safety risks,’ Shermans’ estate trustees tell top court


By The Canadian Press on October 6, 2020.

Barry and Honey Sherman are shown in a handout photo from the United Jewish Appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada will review an appeal court's decision to unseal files related to the estates of wealthy Toronto couple Barry and Honey Sherman, who were found dead in late 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-United Jewish Appeal MANDATORY CREDIT

OTTAWA – The estates of murder victims Barry and Honey Sherman are telling the Supreme Court of Canada that unsealing court files related to the wealthy Toronto couple would pose “grave physical safety risks” to estate trustees and beneficiaries.

A Toronto Star newspaper reporter seeking the files argues the attempt to keep them under wraps ignores legal tenets concerning privacy and the principle of open court proceedings.

The parties are to expand on their written pleadings in a Supreme Court hearing slated for this morning.

In June 2018, a judge made orders sealing the files, which concern the appointment of estate trustees and would ordinarily be available for public inspection.

The sealing orders stemmed from the notion that individuals named as beneficiaries or trustees of the estates would be at risk of harm because the Shermans were found murdered in their home.

Soon after, a court denied Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan access to the files, but the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the decision, saying the idea trustees would be at risk amounted to speculation and provided no basis for a sealing order.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020.

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