Judge lifts prior restraint in family law case, but stands by decision

Amelia Rufer | Prior Restraints | News | December 5, 2014
December 5, 2014

A controversial prior restraint in a Connecticut familly court case has been lifted, but the judge made clear that he still believes he did the right thing in barring the Connecticut Law Tribune from reporting on a publicly available document.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini vacated the order prohibiting a newspaper from reporting on a child custody case Wednesday. Frazzini did not find that the prior restraint violated the First Amendment. Instead, he recognized in his December 3 memorandum that it was pointless to maintain the order once other media outlets disclosed the same information, and that preventing the Law Tribune from disclosing already disseminated information no longer protected or endangered the children’s interests.

In re Emma F.

December 2, 2014

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.

Connecticut court: No liability for linking to defamatory article

Cindy Gierhart | Libel | News | May 15, 2014
May 15, 2014

A Connecticut appellate court ruled Tuesday that a website is not liable for linking to someone else’s defamatory statements, even if the website endorsed the statements.

In Vazquez v. Buhl, a senior editor for CNBC's web site posted an article online that linked to an article written by Teri Buhl. Buhl's article contained allegedly defamatory statements.

The CNBC editor introduced the linked article by saying, “I don’t want to steal Buhl’s thunder, so click on her report for the big reveal.” The editor titled the CNBC story “The Sex and Money Scandal Rocking Hedge Fund Land” and referred to Buhl as “a veteran financial reporter” who “knows her way around the Connecticut hedge fund beat.”

Connecticut passes law restricting access to Newtown shooting, other police records

Amy Zhang | Freedom of Information | News | June 7, 2013
June 7, 2013

Reporters covering homicides in Connecticut won't have access to investigation photographs and 911 recordings describing victim conditions under a new law prompted by families of Newtown shooting victims and signed by the governor this week.


August 1, 2012

Summary of statute(s): Connecticut requires at least one party’s consent to record an in-person conversation, and the consent of all parties to a telephonic conversation. The state’s voyeurism law prohibits taking visual images of another person without that person’s consent or knowledge when there is an expectation of privacy.

Access to arrest records can be limited, Conn. appellate court rules

Amanda Simmons | Freedom of Information | News | August 1, 2012
August 1, 2012

A Connecticut appellate court ruled this week in favor of restricting access to police records under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Conn. appeals court interprets open records provision on use of document scanners

You-Jin Han | Freedom of Information | News | May 3, 2012
May 3, 2012

The Connecticut Appellate Court ruled this week that a state open records law provision permitting records requesters to use “hand-held scanner[s]” to copy records excludes the use of flatbed scanners. Under the court's interpretation of the statute, requesters seeking to scan public records using their own scanning devices may now be limited to using those that are actually "hand-held."

Reporter's challenge of sealed arrest warrants provides details about allegations against ex-police officer

Kristen Rasmussen | Secret Courts | News | March 30, 2012
March 30, 2012

A Connecticut judge recently unsealed search warrant materials in the case of an ex-police officer charged with dozens of offenses related to his alleged unlawful use of the department’s computer database after a local newspaper reporter challenged the secrecy of the court records.

Conn. high court rules university can withhold trade secrets

Haley Behre | Freedom of Information | Feature | February 16, 2012
February 16, 2012

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in University of Connecticut v. Freedom of Information Commission that a public entity could invoke the trade secret exemption in the state freedom of information act to shield its own records from being released.

Typically, such trade secret exemptions are invoked to protect against the disclosure of private sector trade secret information in the possession of the government.