Judge lifts injunction on 'DC madam' phone records
Josh Catone
Published: Thursday July 5, 2007
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A judge in the US district court in Washington, D.C. has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the so-called 'DC madam,' Deborah Jeane Palfrey, from selling or distributing the list of phone records from her escort business.

"The List in question is the Defendant's personal property," wrote judge Gladys Kessler, "and contains only a log of telephone numbers. It was neither seized by the Government when it searched the Defendant's residence in California, nor listed in the Indictment putting the Defendant on notice as to which items of her property were subject to forfeiture."

Kessler concluded that the government had not satisfied the requirements of the forfeiture statute that would enable them to make the "extraordinary step of freezing the property of an individual, not yet convicted of any crime, and barring her from giving away that property."

Palfrey told the Citizens for Legitimate Government that she was "very, very grateful" to Kessler for lifting the TRO.

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Vallejo Times, Palfrey said she would make the 46 pounds of Sprint phone records available to any member of the media, including bloggers.

"A couple dozen to 100 or so" of the 10,000 names listed in the records are high profile names, said Palfrey.

With the injunction lifted, it appears Palfrey can now "distribute the records en masse to as many responsible journalists, press, media, bloggers in this country," as she has promised.

ABC News had a partial list of the names in May, but in the 11th hour decided not to release them, instead only airing an interview with Palfrey.

"Within 24 hours the whole thing was whitewashed," Palfrey told the Vallejo Times. "They had names to name and they didn't name them. Who knows who got to them -- I think the powers that be at Disney (ABC's parent company) were exerting pressure on them to kill the story and they killed it at the last minute."

You can read the full court decision here (PDF).