Skip to content

D. Prohibitions on photographing or identifying juveniles

Posts

  • 10th Circuit

    Even where juvenile proceedings are closed, the Supreme Court has made clear that a court may not “punish the truthful publication of an alleged juvenile delinquent’s name lawfully obtained by a newspaper.” Smith v. Daily Mail Publ’g Co., 443 U.S. 97, 105–106 (1979). In Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 430 U.S. 308, 308 (1977), the Supreme Court likewise reversed an order that “enjoined members of the news media from ‘publishing, broadcasting, or disseminating, in any manner, the name or picture of [a] minor child’ in connection with a juvenile proceedings involving that child then pending in that court.”

    view more
  • 2nd Circuit

    The Second Circuit has not issued a definitive ruling as to interviewing jurors.  This will vary by jurisdiction.

    view more
  • 4th Circuit

    Except as otherwise provided by statute or rule, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure expressly prohibit “the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 53.  At least one district court in the Fourth Circuit has held that this restriction does not violate the public’s First Amendment right of access to judicial proceedings. See United States v. Moussaoui, 205 F.R.D. 183, 185 (E.D. Va. 2002).

    view more
  • 5th Circuit

    Nothing found specific to the Fifth Circuit.

    view more
  • 7th Circuit

    “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2 provides, in relevant part, that ‘in an electronic or paper filing with the court that contains . . . the name of an individual known to be a minor, . . . a party or nonparty making the filing may include only . . . the minor’s initials.’”  P.D. ex rel. C.D. v. Carroll Consolidated School Corp., 820 F.Supp.2d 907, 908 (N.D. Ind. 2011) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 5.2(a)(3)).  “An important factor in favor of anonymity is whether the plaintiff is particularly vulnerable to the possible harms of disclosure, particularly in light of his age.” Id. at 909; see Doe v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wis., 112 F.3d 869, 872 (7th Cir.1997) (“fictitious names are allowed when necessary to protect the privacy of children, rape victims, and other particularly vulnerable parties or witnesses”).

    In a First Amendment challenge to public high school graduation ceremonies being held in a church, the Seventh Circuit held the parents of the minor plaintiffs could proceed anonymously. “Identifying these adult plaintiffs also would expose the identities of their children,” and “[b]ecause the subject matter of the suit frequently has a tendency to inflame unreasonably some individuals . . . a risk to children is particularly compelling.” Doe ex rel. Doe v. Elmbrook School Dist., 658 F.3d 710, 724 (7th Cir. 2011), vacated on other grounds on rehearing en banc, 687 F.3d 840 (7th Cir. 2012); accord A.B. ex rel. V.S. v. Meyer, 2015 WL 4545872 (N.D. Ind. July 28, 2015); compare P.D. ex rel. C.D. v. Carroll Consolidated School Corp., 820 F. Supp. 2d at 909-10 (rejecting argument that revealing minor plaintiff’s parents’ names “violates the intent of Rule 5.2” because it would allow the minor to be easily identified; plaintiff “has not provided enough information for the Court to conclude that there is good cause” to keep the names hidden under Seventh Circuit’s rigorous standard for anonymous litigation).

    Furthermore, in criminal cases, pseudonyms may be required pursuant to the Victims’ Protection and Rights Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3509(d)(3)(A); see United States v. Troup, 2012 WL 3818242, at *3 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 31, 2012) (ordering use of pseudonyms for minor victim and witnesses in child pornography prosecution where “[i]t is easy to see how the disclosure of a child’s name as the victim of a sex offense can be ‘detrimental to the child,’ and the same goes for the two child witnesses who were not victims. The factual nature of this case makes it likely, even probable, that the children involved will be subject to harassment by their peers if their names are publicly associated with the case”).

    view more
  • Arizona

    “Photographing, recording, or broadcasting of juvenile court proceedings is only as allowed as by Arizona law, or as provided by paragraph (i) [celebratory or ceremonial proceedings, or while court is not in session].” Ariz. R. Sup. Ct. 122(k)(5).

    view more
  • Arkansas

    In Arkansas Democrat-Gazette v. Zimmerman, 341 Ark. 771, 20 S.W.3d 301 (2000), a trial judge’s gag order issued in juvenile criminal case was overbroad and violated the First Amendment because there was no overriding state interest to warrant a prohibition of photographs of the defendant and others entering and leaving the courthouse.

    In addition, Administrative Order No. 6 states that juvenile matters in circuit court shall not be subject to broadcasting, recording, or photographing. Ark. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order No. 6(c)(3).

    view more
  • Georgia

    As a matter of statute, Georgia courts may permit electronic recording, transmission, videotaping, motion picture and still photography of judicial proceedings involving minors. O.C.G.A. § 15-11-700(h). The Georgia juvenile code purports to authorize judges to “order the media not to release identifying information concerning any child or family members or foster parent or other caretaker of a child involved in hearings open to the public.” O.C.G.A. § 15-11-700(i).

    view more
  • Idaho

    Idaho courts, statutes, and rules do not address access to juveniles’ identifying information.  However, “the following juvenile courtroom proceedings and records shall be open to the public: all proceedings against a juvenile of the age of fourteen (14) years or older and who is petitioned or charged with an offense which would be a felony if committed by an adult including the court docket, petitions, complaints, information, arraignments, trials, sentencings, probation violation hearings and dispositions, motions and other papers filed in any case in any district; transcripts of testimony taken by the court; and findings, verdicts, judgments, orders, decrees and other papers filed in proceedings before the court of any district.  Idaho Code § 20-525(1) (2010).  But “[j]uvenile courtroom proceedings and records shall remain confidential when the court and the prosecutor agree extraordinary circumstances exist that justify records of a juvenile of the age of fourteen (14) years or older and who is petitioned or charged with an offense which would be a felony if committed by an adult should remain confidential because it is in the best interest of the juvenile.”  Idaho Code §20-525(2).

    view more
  • Kansas

    Under Kansas Supreme Court Rule 1001(e)(7), a trial judge must prohibit photographing of a juvenile, as well as audio recording, unless the juvenile is being prosecuted as an adult in a criminal proceeding as authorized by K.S.A. 38-2347.  However, even though the rule permits photographing of a juvenile who is tried as an adult, it allows a judge to issue a “directive to the contrary.”  Kan. Sup. Ct. R. 1001, Media Coverage of Judicial Proceedings, http://www.kscourts.org/rules/Media_Coverage/Rule%201001.pdf.

    In a 2005 murder case in Douglas County, Kansas, a judge objected to coverage by a sketch artist.  The judge ordered the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper not to publish the artist’s sketches of adult witnesses in a murder trial. The judge concluded that “courtroom rules limiting photography of certain witnesses also apply to drawings by sketch artists.”  Eric Weslander, Judge bars sketches from publication, Lawrence Journal-World (June 17, 2005).  The judge later reversed her order, allowing publication of the sketches of the adults, but she separately ordered the newspaper not to publish sketches of two young teenagers who testified in the case.

    After filing a motion for reconsideration, which the judge denied, the World Company, publisher of the Journal-World, petitioned for mandamus in the Kansas Supreme Court. The World Company argued that the judge’s order was erroneous because the rules regarding cameras in the courtroom are silent about sketch artists.  Memorandum in Support of Petition for Writ of Mandamus at 2, World Co. v. Martin, No. 05-94706-S (Kan. June 17, 2005).

    The World Company also asserted that the judge’s order was a prior restraint and was imposed without a hearing as constitutionally required.  The World Company further argued that there was no need for the order, because an artist’s sketch provides information to the public but yet is not sufficiently accurate to make witnesses identifiable and therefore does not jeopardize their privacy interests.  The World Company moved for an expedited hearing, but was unsuccessful.  The state supreme court denied the World Company’s petition about two months after the trial had ended.  Denial of Petition for Writ of Mandamus, World Co. v. Martin, No. 05-94706-S (Kan. Sept. 20, 2005); see also Lawrence Man Gets Life Term in Wife’s Murder, WIBW-TV (July 21, 2005).

    view more
  • Mississippi

    Even where juvenile proceedings are closed, the Supreme Court has made clear that a court may not “punish the truthful publication of an alleged juvenile delinquent’s name lawfully obtained by a newspaper.” Smith v. Daily Mail Publ’g Co., 443 U.S. 97, 105-06 (1979). In Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 430 U.S. 308, 308 (1977), the Court likewise reversed an order that “enjoined members of the news media from ‘publishing, broadcasting, or disseminating, in any manner, the name or picture of [a] minor child’ in connection with a juvenile proceeding involving that child then pending in that court.”

    The Mississippi Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings (MREPC) do not categorically prohibit the media from photographing juveniles. However, Rule 3 does “expressly prohibit” electronic media coverage of the following matters, which may involve children in the courtroom: child custody; support; guardianship; commitment; adoption; delinquency and neglect of minors; determination of paternity; and termination of parental rights.

    view more
  • New Mexico

    In New Mexico, accredited representatives of the news media may be present at closed hearings, conditioned on them refraining from divulging information that would identify any child involved in the proceedings or the parent, guardian or custodian of that child. NMSA 1978, § 32A-4-20. Media parties granted admission to a closed hearing who intentionally divulge information can be found guilty of a petty misdemeanor. Id.

    view more
  • Pennsylvania

    The Public Access Policy of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania: Case Records of the Appellate and Trial Courts; No. 477 Judicial Administration requires that certain information in judicial records concerning minors be kept confidential. Such information includes a minor’s name, date of birth, and educational records. See 204 Pa. Code § 213.81. However, the policy does not prohibit members of the press from identifying juveniles in their reporting. Indeed, such a restriction would violate the First Amendment. See, e.g., Oklahoma Publ’g Co. v. Dist. Court In & For Oklahoma Cty., 430 U.S. 308, 311 (1977) (striking down injunction prohibiting media from publishing name or photo of minor involved in juvenile proceeding); Bowley v. City of Uniontown Police Dept., 404 F.3d 783, 789 (3d Cir. 2005) (newspaper could not be held liable for publishing identity of minor where the information it published was truthful, lawfully obtained, and involved a matter of public concern).

    view more
  • Utah

    Utah’s rule governing electronic media coverage of court proceedings states, in relevant part, that “[n]otwithstanding an authorization to conduct electronic media coverage of a proceeding, and unless expressly authorized by the judge, there shall be no... electronic media coverage of the face of a person known to be a minor.”  Utah Code Jud. Admin. 4-401.01(6)(B).  Names and other identifying information of minors may also be redacted to protect the privacy interests of a minor.  See Fox Television Stations v. Clary, No. 940700284 (Utah 2d Dist. Dec. 5, 1995) (redaction of names and other identifying information adequately protected privacy interests).  In Fox Television, the court held that Sheriff Department reports containing information on sexual abuse of minor children were public records.  Id. Because the county had released another report that identified the victims and the person making the initial sexual abuse report, the court determined that the county was estopped from asserting confidential protection for the requested reports.  Id.

    view more
  • Wisconsin

    See Wis. Stat. § 938.299(1)(a):

    Except as provided in par. (ar), the general public shall be excluded from hearings under this chapter unless a public fact-finding hearing is demanded by a juvenile through his or her counsel. … If a public hearing is not held, only the parties, their counsel, witnesses, a representative of the news media who wishes to attend the hearing for the purpose of reporting news without revealing the identity of the juvenile involved and other persons requested by a party and approved by the court may be present.

    view more