Amicus brief: Access to court records
ASNE has recently joined three amicus briefs filed in key court cases around the country. A little overview by the numbers: All 3 were drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, two are defamation cases, and one seeks access to court records; two cases emanate from California, and one is from the District of Columbia. Last week, we introduced the first amicus brief on the issue of limited-purpose public figure in a defamation case. Today, we're sharing the second amicus brief:
Courthouse News Service v. Yamasaki is the latest brief filed in support of the efforts of Courthouse News Service to gain access to documents filed in state and federal courts around the country. This is the second instance in which we have joined a brief supporting CNS' efforts in California alone (we filed a brief against the Superior Court of Ventura County in March 2016; we emerged victorious there and now seek the same result with regard to Orange County).
This brief argues that the First Amendment right of access extends to "timely access to newly filed complaints" and is increasingly important in terms of ensuring accurate news reporting in the digital era. Further, the fact that a news organization is technically a "for-profit" entity should have no bearing on the need for timely access to civil complaints.