Juvenile Court Rules
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Public or Media Access to Juvenile Court Proceedings


  1. Intent. This rule is to be construed as requiring the court to balance all interests involved to maintain the privacy, dignity, decorum, and impartiality of the court proceeding, while at the same time providing public access as allowed by law. 

  2. Media. For purposes of this rule, media or media agency means any person or organization actively engaging in news gathering or reporting, to include newspaper, radio, television, news service, magazine, or any other print or electronic media platform.

  3. Access by the public and media. Juvenile Court proceedings are neither presumptively open nor presumptively closed. Requests for access by the media to courtroom proceedings are governed by Supreme Court Rule of Superintendence 12 and Ohio Revised Code Section 2151.35. Broadcasting, televising, recording, and photographing by the media during courtroom sessions, including recesses between sessions, shall not be permitted unless first authorized by the Court.

  4. Requests for Access. Requests for permission to broadcast, televise, record or photograph in the courtroom shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the trial judge at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance. Request forms may be obtained from the judge’s courtroom. Notice shall be provided in advance to all parties. A record hearing shall be held on all requests and shall include the parties to the case. In the event the trial judge approves the media request, (s)he shall prepare and sign a journal entry setting forth the conditions of media broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing, including addressing items set forth in §9 of this rule below. This entry shall be made a part of the record of the case and provided to all parties and media personnel.

  5. Standard for access in abuse, neglect, dependency, and custody cases. The juvenile court may restrict public access to its proceedings in abuse, neglect, dependency and custody cases pursuant to Juv. R. 27 and R.C. 2151.35 if, after hearing evidence and argument on the issue, the court finds that: (1) there exists a reasonable and substantial basis for believing that public access could harm the child or endanger the fairness of the proceeding, and (2) the potential for harm outweighs the benefits of public access.

  6. Requests for Closure. A party to a matter may request that any portion of juvenile court proceedings be closed to the public and/or the media. A motion requesting closure shall be filed at least seven (7) days prior to any hearing for which closure is sought. The seven (7) day requirement may be waived at the discretion of the judge or magistrate before whom the proceeding is scheduled upon good cause shown, and specifically in matters in which a request for media access was made less than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing. The public, media, and parties to the case shall all be permitted to present evidence at the time of the closure hearing.

  7. Standards for closure. Any party requesting that a proceeding be closed to the public that is not an abuse, neglect, dependency, or custody case, shall have the burden of proof at the closure hearing, and the Court shall be required to find that: (1) there exists a reasonable and substantial basis for believing that public access could harm the child or endanger the fairness of the adjudication, (2) the potential for harm outweighs the benefits of public access, and (3) there are no reasonable alternatives to closure.

  8. Equipment and location of media. If permitted access to a hearing, the judicial officer shall specify the place in the courtroom where media and equipment are to be located. The judicial officer shall include such terms in the journal entry as will limit potential distraction for the participants, maintain the dignity of the proceedings, and prevent material interference with the achievement of a fair trial. Location and number of equipment and operators shall be governed by Supreme Court Rule of Superintendence 12(B) or other such applicable section.

  9. Limits to Media Access. There shall be no audio pickup or broadcast of conferences conducted in a court facility between attorneys and clients or co-counsel or of conferences conducted at the bench between counsel and the judge. Media representatives shall not be permitted to transmit or record anything other than the court proceedings from the courtroom while the court is in session. There shall be no right of access to any portions of any hearing that specifically address the social history, mental examination, or physical examination of a child.

  10. Duty to inform victims and witnesses. The judicial officer shall inform victims and witnesses of their right to object to being filmed, videotaped, recorded, or photographed. Objections shall be honored by the media.

  11. Revocation of Permission. Upon the failure of any media representative to comply with the conditions prescribed by this rule, Supreme Court Rule of Superintendence 12, or the judge, the judge may revoke the permission to broadcast or photograph the trial or hearing.

    Media Request Form eDR7900 eJU7730 03-2021

Effective July 1, 1984; Amended eff. 7/1/99; 7/1/04; 11/1/20