Judiciary

Name of woman who sued over herpes infection is revealed after a suspended justice protests


A federal judge has agreed to unseal records in a civil suit over a herpes infection, a victory for a suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who wants to use the documents in her criminal trial.

U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster ruled Jamie Pavlot could not use the pseudonym “Jane Doe” in her suit against a former boyfriend over the herpes infection, Trib Live reports. Pavlot is a chief witness in the trial of Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who is accused of using state-paid staffers to campaign for her seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also has coverage.

Melvin claims Pavlot gave differing accounts of her medical condition and stress in Melvin’s preliminary hearing and the herpes lawsuit. Pavlot responds that Melvin is distorting her testimony, and the justice’s aim was to embarrass her.

Lancaster said pseudonyms may not be used in federal lawsuits merely to prevent embarrassment, according to the Trib Live account. Instead, the person seeking to use a pseudonym must have a reasonable fear of being severely harmed, he said.

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