Access to court documents argued in 9th Circuit

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on press access to courts this week with the California state court attorney asserting that the case belonged in state courts and attorneys for the press citing a Ninth Circuit ruling that a 48-hour delay in access to court documents violated the First Amendment. (Courthouse News Service, May 8, 2013, by Bill Girdner)

The press had been battling the California court administrators most recently over an attempt to redefine “public documents” to limit press access. Under the new definition, the courts introduced the term, “officially filed,” which the press said was to deny public access to records while the civil servants put the documents into a computer record taking about six weeks. (Courthouse News Service, January 25, 2013, by Bill Girdner)