In Bradbury v. Idaho Judicial Council, 136 Idaho 63, 28 P.3d 1006 (2001), the Idaho Supreme Court reaffirmed the long line of United States Supreme Court cases recognizing the constitutional right of access in criminal proceedings, holding that the First Amendment right of access is fundamental to criminal trials. Bradbury, 126 Idaho at 70 (citing Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980)). There are some proceedings, however, that are closed by statute or court rule. For example, Idaho Juvenile Rule 52 mandates that all Child Protective Act proceedings (Idaho Code §§ 16-1601 through 1643) are closed while Juvenile Correction Act proceedings (Idaho Code §§ 20-501 through 542) are closed until the admit/deny hearing held under Idaho Juvenile Rule 6. And, Idaho Code § 19-811 provides that a criminal defendant can request that his/her preliminary hearing be closed, but that right is not absolute. Cowles Publ’g Co. v. Magistrate Ct., 118 Idaho 753, 761, 800 P.2d 640, 648 (1990).
Criminal proceedings are presumptively open to attendance by the general public. This presumption does not include the deliberations of juries or omnibus hearings unless witnesses are giving testimony. See Public Access to Criminal Proceedings Act, IC 5-14-2, et seq.