Friday, February 3, 2012

Calif. Judge Opens the Door to Juvie Court

Flag of County of Los AngelesImage via WikipediaLos Angeles County Juvenile Court Judge Michael Nash, California's longest-serving juvenile jurist, this week issued an order making dependency-related proceedings  more accessible to news media coverage, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Judge Nash's ruling applies to foster care, adoption and child abuse matters, but juvenile criminal proceedings are unaffected by the order. Transparency is likely to increase because his order shifts the burden of proof to parties to demonstrate that closure best serves the minor's interest, instead of requiring news organizations to argue why proceedings should be open to the press, according to the Times article.

Juvenile proceedings, however, will continue to be presumed closed to the general public unless an objecting member of the public can articulate a legitimate reason for attendance or are present at the behest of a minor or the juvenile's attorney.
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