Doe v. Mitchell
A court can permit a party to use a pseudonym, to protect the party's interests in protecting his privacy. The plaintiff sued the defendant priest, alleging that the priest sexually abused the plaintiff when the plaintiff was a minor, and that the plaintiff suffered extreme trauma and psychological injury. The plaintiff requested permission to use a pseudonym and alleged that publication of his name will result in harassment, ridicule and embarrassment. Practice Book §11-20A governs the use of pseudonyms in civil cases. The court found that the plaintiff's use of a pseudonym is the least intrusive method to balance the interests of the public to be aware of the workings of the Judicial Branch and the interests of the plaintiff in his privacy. The court sealed the plaintiff's affidavit and granted the plaintiff's request to use a pseudonym. "[T]he plaintiff's use of a pseudonym," wrote the court, "will serve the overriding interest of protecting the plaintiff from exposure in the community of his private situation, which involves his allegations that he was sexually abused." Use of a pseudonym is sufficient to meet the plaintiff's interest in privacy, and the court indicated it did not intend to close the courtroom.