Friday, September 08, 2006

Closed trial not automatic

Closed trial not automatic

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered broader access to juvenile court trials, procedures and records in response to a newspaper's lawsuit over a fatal mugging and an arson.

"It's the first time the court has said any portion of any juvenile court records would have to be open," said David Marburger, attorney for the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. "There is going to be across-the-board access statewide."

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday (Aug. 30), justices said a juvenile court judge cannot close proceedings without a hearing. The court ordered Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge Alison Floyd to provide the newspaper with transcripts and dockets from the two cases, and, in one case, conduct further hearings.

The Plain Dealer had sued after Floyd closed portions of the proceedings in the mugging and the arraignment of two 11-year-old girls who were accused of setting a fire.

Associated Press

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