Case Number: 2022-1264
Court: Centre County Court of Common Pleas
Clients: The Centre Daily Times, Spotlight PA, WJAC-TV
Motion to Intervene and Unseal Filed: July 14, 2022
Background: On June 24, 2022, the Centre County Court of Common Pleas granted a motion of The Pennsylvania State University to seal all filings in a case captioned, in part, “In Re: Search Warrants Involving Crime Victims Who Are Students of The Pennsylvania State University.”
On behalf of The Centre Daily Times, Spotlight PA and WJAC-TV, Reporters Committee attorneys filed a motion to intervene and unseal all court filings in the matter, arguing that the public has a presumptive right to access the judicial records under the First Amendment, the common law and the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Quote: “The presumption of public access is essential to news reporting on court cases, which promotes accountability in the judicial system and public understanding of how courts exercise their power,” said Paula Knudsen Burke, the Reporters Committee’s Local Legal Initiative attorney in Pennsylvania.
Updates: On July 14, 2022, just hours after the news outlets submitted their motion to intervene and unseal, the court ordered the docket and all filings unsealed. It also ordered that the search warrants at issue be made public with limited redactions. On July 18, 2022, based on the unsealing of the civil docket and public release of related search warrants, attorneys for the Reporters Committee withdrew their motion to intervene and unseal.
2022-07-14: Motion to intervene and unseal
2022-07-14: Unsealing order