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VIII. Proceedings involving minors

VIII. Proceedings involving minors

Overview

Pennsylvania

Although “juvenile proceedings have traditionally been closed to the public in most jurisdictions,” the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that “constitutional presumption of openness applies to juvenile dependency matters.”  …”  In the Interest of M.B.,819 A.2d 59 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2003).  But juvenile proceedings may be closed “to prevent parties' embarrassment and protect privacy interests.”  Id. (citing R.W. v. Hampe, 626 A.2d 1218, 1222 (Pa. Super. 1993).  Indeed, “protecting minors from the trauma and embarrassment of testifying in public is, in and of itself, a compelling state interest under a First Amendment analysis.”  Id. (citing Globe Newspaper Co. v. Superior Ct., 457 U.S. 596, 607-08, 73 L. Ed. 2d 248, 102 S. Ct.

VIII. Proceedings involving minors

Overview

California

California Rule of Court Section 346 governs access to dependency hearings; it presumes the hearing closed and permits openness only if the member of the public has a direct and legitimate interest in the hearing. This requires case-by-case review. See L.A. Cnty. Dep’t of Children & Family Servs. v. J.P., 42 Media L. Reporter 1609 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014). 

VIII. Proceedings involving minors

Overview

Mississippi

In Mississippi, records involving children “shall not be disclosed . . . except pursuant to an order of the youth court specifying the person or persons to whom the records may be disclosed, the extent of the records which may be disclosed and the purpose of the disclosure.”Miss. Code Ann. § 43-21-261. Disclosure of such records is limited to situations in which the youth court determines that disclosure would advance the child’s best interest or public safety. Id.