In Manhattan, State Supreme Court Judge Cynthia S. Kern has withheld judgment today on whether the cause of Zachery Tims' death should be released to the public or kept confidential to the family.
Tims, 42, pastor of New Destiny Christian Church in Apopka, was found dead in a New York City hotel room Aug. 12.
Attorneys for Madeline Tims, who is the preacher's mother, filed the lawsuit to keep the cause of death confidential, argued this morning before the court that the medical examiner's autopsy and toxicology reports are "medical records and should not be released without permission from the family."
Mother of Tims and attorneys also contend that death certificates of people whose deaths do not fall under the medical examiner's office are not public record — so those investigated by the medical examiner should not be either.
City attorneys representing the medical examiner's office are refuting this and contend that while the toxicology and autopsy reports are confidential, the manner and cause of death are not.
Anthony Suarez, the Orlando attorney representing Madeline Tims, said the medical examiner's practice of releasing the cause of death had never been challenged before."That's just the tradition and custom they've done before," he said.