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NFL formally seeks access to Greg Hardy court file

Greg Hardy

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) sits on the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


In the post-Ray Rice NFL, a first-time offender under the personal-conduct policy who has his case dismissed doesn’t get a slap on the wrist. Despite the absence of any criminal consequences, guys like Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy could still be suspended.

The decision hinges on the league’s assessment of what actually happened. To get to that point, the NFL must inspect the court file. But the court file in Greg Hardy’s case falls under the protection of a court order blocking public access to the file.

And so the NFL has filed paperwork officially requesting that the court order be dissolved, allowing the league to have the opportunity to inspect the contents of the file.

“Since all charges against this Defendant were dismissed, the exhibits can no longer be classified as trial preparatory material and the reasons for holding the exhibits under seal is now moot,” the motion states.

Specifically, the NFL hopes to obtain the documents introduced during the bench trial of guilty on counts of assault on a female and communicating threats.

The league also presumably will ask Hardy to produce a copy of the transcript of the proceedings, which his lawyer arranged to be produced during the prior trial.

Eventually, the NFL will gather the information it needs, and it will issue a finding as to whether Hardy violated the personal-conduct policy and, if so, what his penalty should be.