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Records remain closed

By Ann Weaver Published: December 13, 2005
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p /> Briggs has notified the state that he intends to file a lawsuit over the death. In his tort claim notice, he's demanding $15 million and a systemwide overhaul of the Department of Human Services.

Kelsey's mother, Raye Dawn Porter, already has some of the records. Her attorney is reviewing them in case she is charged, too. She has denied ever abusing Kelsey.

Prosecutors say Kelsey died Oct. 11 from blunt force trauma to her stomach.

An Oklahoma law approved after the death of another child, Ryan Luke, allows the release of summaries of Department of Human Services records and court proceedings, once someone is charged.

In Kelsey's case, the Department of Human Services released a four-page summary. The Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth released a 13 page summary. The commission is preparing another summary focusing on the court hearing returning Kelsey to her mother.

The author of the 1996 Ryan Luke law said little became public in child welfare cases before then.

"I had to negotiate and struggle and all that kind of stuff just to get the little bit that we got, former state Rep. Laura Boyd said. "I would like to even have more, but that's where we are.

"Particularly the judges are awful, she said. "They think they're God. They don't think they have to answer to anyone. ... They were the ones that were the most difficult to deal with.

Contributing: Staff Writer Nolan Clay

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