A published report says Cook County judges have sealed hundreds of files since 2000, some of them improperly or without reason.
The Chicago Tribune reports Sunday that judges have hid entire cases when only sensitive information needed to be removed and often times they gave no reason in why they sealed the file.
The practice runs contrary to case law which says public documents shouldn't be kept under seal.
The Tribune looked at dozens of previously sealed records.
Its findings showed several cases involved well known Chicagoans and institutions. In one case, a prominent Chicago chef filed a complaint under a pseudonym and asked the judge to seal the file. The judge did so without giving a reason.
Other cases involved the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Chicago Cubs.