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Appeals Court Orders Hearing Over UF Veterinary Records

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An appeals court Tuesday ordered a circuit judge to hold a hearing in a public-records lawsuit involving research conducted on animals at the University of Florida.

In the lawsuit, plaintiff Karen Kline sought to force the university to release material such as images of animals, veterinary records and research protocols, according to Tuesday's ruling by a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal. But Alachua County Circuit Judge Robert Roundtree Jr. last year reviewed the material privately —  a review known as an "in-camera" inspection  — and rejected Kline's request.

The appeals court said the state's public-records law required a hearing to determine whether the material should be released.

In his decision in August 2015, Roundtree pointed to part of state law that provides a public-records exemption related to university research.