C. Other proceedings involving minors

Overview

The Supreme Court has not recognized a right of access to juvenile proceedings or records. In “abuse, neglect, dependency, and custody matters…courts have hesitated to extend a First-Amendment-based right of access.” Dienes, Levine & Lind, Newsgathering and the Law § 7.01[2] (3d Ed. 2005) (collecting cases). In the absence of a presumption of openness, access varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

New Jersey

Though New Jersey permits closure, if recognizes that closure should be used rarely and only when necessary. The presumption of openness remains. See State v. Allen, 73 N.J. 132, 373 A.2d 377 (N.J. 1977).

Hearings to determine whether a juvenile should be tried as an adult is presumed open unless the defendant can prove specific harm from openness. See In Re P.P., 23 Media L. Rep. 2178 (N.J. Super. Ct. 1995).