See Pulitzer Publ'g . Co. v. Transit Cas. Co. (In re. Transit Cas. Co.), 43 S.W.3d 293, 297-98 (Mo. 2001) (en banc). (“As a member of the public, however, Pulitzer had an inherent interest in the court records that is recognized by the common law. Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597-98, 98 S.Ct. 1306, 55 L.Ed.2d 570 (1978)”).
The 5th Circuit has held that in addition to the First Amendment right, there is a right of public access derived from common law that creates a presumption of access, but the right is not absolute. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Van Waeyenberghe, 990 F.2d 845, 848 (5th Cir. 1993); Belo Broadcasting Corp. v. Clark, 654 F.2d 423, 429 (5th Cir. 1981). The decision as to access is one left to the discretion of the trial court, a discretion to be exercised in light of the relevant facts and circumstances of the particular case. Belo Broadcasting Corp. v.
Florida has recognized a “strong” common-law presumption of access both criminal and civil proceedings and their records. Barron v. Florida Freedom Newspapers, Inc., 531 So. 2d 113, 116 (Fla. 1988). This presumption continues through the appellate process. Id. at 118.
The Mississippi Supreme Court states that there is no constitutional right to access public records. SeeMississippi Publishers Corp. v. Coleman, 515 So. 2d 1163, 1167 (Miss. 1987).
Rather, the right to access such records “is a right derived from the common law and from applicable statues.” Id. Where common-law rights clash with constitutional rights, “under the supremacy clause the former must yield.” Id.
There is a common law presumption of access in Georgia. See Florida Pub. Co. v. Morgan, 253 Ga. 467, 473 (1984)(“The holdings, primarily in the Richmond Newspapers case, Globe Newspapers case and R. W. Page case, create a presumption that criminal trials will be open to the public.