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In re Emma F.

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  1. Prior Restraint
A Connecticut Superior Court judge in the juvenile division, overseeing a custody dispute, issued a prior restraint order against the…

A Connecticut Superior Court judge in the juvenile division, overseeing a custody dispute, issued a prior restraint order against the Connecticut Law Tribune, prohibiting a reporter from publishing information he obtained while in the courtroom and from a court document that had been posted publicly on the court website. The judge also sealed transcripts and his orders and memorandum justifying the prior restraint. The Connecticut Law Tribune appealed, and the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal. The Reporters Committee and 48 media companies filed a motion to appear as amici curiae, arguing that the court violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments when it issued an order barring publication of information lawfully obtained from a court document posted on the court’s own public website. We argued that there is a heavy presumption against prior restraints generally, and specifically under the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 430 U.S. 308 (1977), finding an order restricting the publication of information related to a juvenile proceeding was unconstitutional when the reporter obtained the information lawfully.

In re Emma F.