The Supreme Court has not addressed the issue, and whether competency and commitment proceedings are presumptively open will depend on the jurisdiction and the character of the proceedings. For example, the court in State v. Decato, 938 A.2d 898, 904 (N.H. 2007) “conclude[d] that commitment proceedings for sexual predators have been presumptively open to the public,” though other types of involuntary commitment proceedings have been presumptively closed.
Records disclosed in connection with a competency hearing may be confidential and may not be disseminated except upon order of the court or pursuant to a petition for release or pursuant to an involuntary commitment proceeding. 15 M.R.S.A. § 101-C(3).
With regard to involuntary commitment proceedings, “[t]he hearing is confidential and a report of the proceedings may not be released to the public or press, except by permission of the person or the person's counsel and with approval of the presiding District Court Judge, except that the court may order a public hearing on the request of the person or the person's counsel and “[t]he record and all notes, exhibits and other evidence in are confidential.” 34-B M.R.S.A. § 3864(5)(G), (H); see also 34-B § 5476(6)(G), (H) (mental retardation judicial certification hearings). The relevant state agency must also keep confidential orders of commitment, medical and administrative records, applications and reports, and facts contained in them, pertaining to any client. 34-B M.R.S.A. § 1207.