Marino v. University of Florida

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In October of 2010, the University of Florida refused to comply with Florida State statues and provide the public with documentation about their primate experiments.

In December of 2011, activists won a lawsuit against the University of Florida in Alachua Circuit Court. Judge Martha Ann Lott ordered veterinary records to be released. The Judge failed, however, to order UF to disclose the location of their enslaved primates. Our appeal on this issue will be heard over the summer.

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Image from inside UF secured through first legal victory

Image from inside UF secured through first lawsuit victory

by Camille Marino

The University of Florida has refused to disclose public records documenting their experiments on primates since our request was initiated in October 2010. In response to a subsequent formal lawsuit that we filed, on Decmber 30, 2011, the Court ruled that the university must hand over the records to us by 4:22 pm on January 3, 2012.

This is our first small, but very significant, victory of the new year….

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UF Public Relations Director Janine Sikes

by NIO Florida

In response to the systematic blackening of all transparency in conjunction with a stonewall of silence constructed by the animal-murdering administration at the University of Florida over the last year and a half, we decided that it is time to take the facts directly to the global network of their Alumni Association… the “Gator Nation.” Upon initiating this prong of the campaign several weeks ago, an ally within the administration forwarded to us a letter from Public Relations Shill Janine Sikes that was immediately sent to Gator Clubs warning of NIO extremists.

After an intensified round of “Seasons Greetings” calls from activists to the Executive Director of the Alumni Association as well as other key targets this afternoon, we learned that there is a bit of “unrest” within UF about having their crimes against animals,untruths, and the seemingly-fraudulent grants filling their coffers exposed to their benefactors. Because of the current atmosphere at the university as well as the fact that we will be in a position to document and refute a number of Sike’s deliberate inaccuracies shortly, our comrade has now given us permission to publish the letter that follows below.

We tried to reach Sikes for comment today but she’s enjoying a relaxing Christmas vacation paid for with the blood of enslaved and tortured animals. Merry Christmas, Janine… there’s much more where this came from.

It’s been a long and arduous battle thus far…. And, as long as UF continues to wage war on their laboratory victims, this campaign is about to get a whole lot more personal…

Update: As of December 1, UF has officially defied a court order to turn over records documenting experiments on primates performed in their labs.

by Nathan Crabbe (Gainesville Sun)

A Gainesville judge has ordered the University of Florida to comply with an animal rights activist’s public records request or explain its reason for withholding the records.

Camille Marino of Wildwood, founder of the animal rights group Negotiation is Over, sued UF last month for failing to produce records on 33 primates involved in research. Marino had initially been asked to pay $566.54 for the records, but the university later provided only one redacted purchasing report and refunded the money.

Eighth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Martha Ann Lott issued the order to UF on Nov. 3 and the university was served last week, starting a 20-day clock for its response. Gainesville attorney Marcy LaHart, who is representing Marino, said UF officials were disingenuous in rejecting the request and provided an invalid explanation to Marino.

“They thought she would just go away,” LaHart said. “They thought they could get away with claiming an exemption that doesn’t really apply. It doesn’t even pass the laugh test.”

Marino requested information on the primates that includes their veterinary records and details about their deaths. UF cited a state law protecting the confidentiality of veterinary patient records in denying the request.

Negotiation is Over has campaigned against animal research at UF, including an effort to identify faculty and student researchers on its website. The effort led UF to warn students at the start of the semester.

by Nathan Crabbe (Gainesville Sun)

An animal rights activist has sued the University of Florida for denying a public records request for information on research involving primates.

Camille Marino, a Wildwood-based activist with the group Negotiation is Over, sued the university last week in an Alachua County circuit court. She made a request last fall for records on 33 non-human primates mentioned in a federal inspection report of UF research facilities.

She was asked to pay $566.54 for the records, but UF later provided just one redacted purchasing report for six primates and refunded the money.

“We need to know what’s going on inside their labs. They’re not exempt from the law … What are they hiding?” Marino said.

A copy of the lawsuit, posted on the Negotiation is Over website, can be found here.

In a letter to Marino, UF said purchasing reports more than five years old are destroyed under state regulation and cited a state law protecting the confidentiality of veterinary patient records in denying the request for other records. The lawsuit, filed by Gainesville attorney Marcy LeHart, argues that the primates are not UF patients and “any procedures performed on them are certainly not for the benefit of the primates.”

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said the university received a courtesy copy of the lawsuit had yet been served, and would respond appropriately when it was.

“We take the safety of our researchers, the rigorous regulations on the treatments of animals and all of our compliance obligations very seriously,” she said.

Negotiation is Over has distributed fliers offering $100 rewards for information on students involved in animal research, leading UF police to issue a warning to students at the start of the semester. It identified one 18-year-old Gainesville woman on the website before taking down the information and has previously posted the addresses and phone numbers of UF faculty researchers.

by Camille Marino
In accordance with Florida state “sunshine laws,” on October 22, I submitted a public information request to the University of Florida concerning 33 nonhuman primates imprisoned in their labs. They responded with a breakdown of the records and costs involved and payment was promptly remitted. Nearly two months after this exercise began, on December 17, I received a telephone call advising me that the documents were ready. The following afternoon I picked up an envelope from campus police containing a refund check and the University’s refusal to release the public records. I am unprepared to elaborate on this issue at the moment. However, the five-page package that I received may be viewed HERE.