Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California, 464 U.S. 501, 104 S. Ct. 2735 (1984), California courts have recognized a First Amendment-based right of access to jury selection proceedings and questionnaires. E.g., Pantos v. City and County of San Francisco, 151 Cal. App. 3d 258, 262-263, 198 Cal. Rptr. 489 (1984). California limits the disclosure of jurors’ personal identifying information, but provides a procedure for seeking that information by petition. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 237.
Jury selection is presumptively open to the public and press. Ukiah Daily Journal v. Superior Court, 165 Cal. App. 3d 788, 791, 211 Cal. Rptr. 673 (1985). The presumption can only be overcome if the trial court makes express findings that closure is necessary to preserve an overriding interest, and the closure order is narrowly tailored. Id. General concerns about potential jurors being less candid, or being influenced by the statements of other potential jurors, are not a sufficient overriding interest. Id. at 792-793.
California courts have declined to recognize any constitutional or common law right of access to grand jury proceedings or materials, which generally are kept confidential. See Daily Journal Corp. v. Superior Court, 20 Cal. 4th 1117, 1128-1129, 979 P.2d 982, 86 Cal. Rptr. 2d 623 (1999) (trial court had no authority to release grand jury materials except as provided by statute). However, a statute creates a right of access to some grand jury materials following an indictment. See Cal. Penal Code § 938.1(b).
No presumptive right of public access attaches to jury and grand jury deliberations proper. However, proceedings regarding the selection and administration of juries and grand juries are presumptively open.
“Grand jury proceedings are intended, to the extent possible, to be secret.” In the Matter of the Petition for Review of Hearing Comm. of the Prof’l Conduct Bd. of the Idaho State Bar, 140 Idaho 800, 805, 102 P.3d 1119, 1124 (2004).
Access to jury information is somewhat limited to protect juror safety and privacy. See Jury Rule 10. Grand jury access is likewise limited given the policies behind grand jury secrecy, including preventing the escape of those who may be indicted and preventing attempts to influence grand jurors or witnesses. Hinojosa v. State, 781 N.E.2d 677, 681 (Ind. 2003).
Generally, the proceedings and records of a grand jury are closed, while trial jury (petit jury) selection and records relating to jury selection are public. All jury deliberations are conducted in secret.
Montana rarely commences criminal proceedings through a grand jury. Almost all criminal prosecutions are initiated by an information containing an affidavit of probable cause filed by the prosecution. The affidavit and information are open for inspection.
Following the United States Supreme Court decision in Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court, 464 U.S. 501, 104 S. Ct. 2735 (1984), West Virginia courts have recognized a First Amendment-based right of access to jury selection proceedings and questionnaires. E.g., Daily Gazette Co. v. Comm. on Legal Ethics of the W. Virginia State Bar, 174 W. Va. 359, 364, 326 S.E.2d 705, 710 (1984). West Virginia limits the disclosure of jurors’ personal identifying information but provides a procedure for seeking that information by petition. See W. Va. Trial Ct. R., 8.10.