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D. Prohibitions on photographing or identifying juveniles


  • 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).

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  • 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).

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  • 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).

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  • 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.

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