01D

D. Statutes and court rules

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Maryland

In Maryland, both access to court records and the ability to photograph, record, or televise portions of court proceedings are governed by the Rules of the state courts. See Maryland Rules 16-109 (concerning “photographing, recording, broadcasting or televising in courthouses”) & 16-1001-1011 (concerning public access to court records).

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Kansas

The U.S. Supreme Court has observed that, in many jurisdictions, the common law right of access to court records “has been recognized or expanded by statute.”  Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598 n.7 (1978).  To the extent that the Kansas Legislature has codified common law access, it has done so principally through the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). See Kan. Stat. Ann. (K.S.A.) 45-215 et seq. In KORA, the Legislature declared that openness of public agencies’ records is presumed.  See K.S.A. 45-216.  The presumption of openness controls unless a requested record falls within an exemption specified in KORA.  If a record is specifically exempt, public agencies “shall not be required to disclose” it.  K.S.A. 45-221(a).

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

5th Cir.

The 5th Circuit adheres to the Federal Rules.

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Florida

Numerous provisions of Florida’s law provide for access to the courts. Article I, Section 16(a) of the Florida Constitution provides criminal defendants with a right, upon demand, to a “speedy and public trial.” Article I, Section 24 (a) gives “every person” a constitutional right of access to public records, including the records of the judicial branch.

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Mississippi

The Mississippi Constitution provides that in prosecutions for rape, adultery, fornication, sodomy or a crime against nature “the court may, in its discretion, exclude from the courtroom all persons except such as are necessary in the conduct of the trial.” Miss.Const. § 26 (1890).

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

South Dakota

With respect to proceedings, there are no specific access statutes or rules. However, see SDCL 15-15A for South Dakota’s Unified Judicial System Court Records Rule.

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Georgia

In Georgia, the press and public’s constitutional right of access to judicial records and proceedings is codified in the U.S.C.R, which applies to the state and superior courts. U.S.C.R. 21 and 22 are also repeated in the uniform rules of Georgia’s other trial courts. See, e.g., Uniform Magistrate Court Rule 11; Uniform Probate Court Rule 18; Uniform Juvenile Court Rule 26. U.S.C.R.

D. Statutes and court rules

Overview

Tennessee

See, e.g., discussion of state statutory and constitutional provisions in In re NHC-Nashville Fire Litigation, infra.

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