LA Dependency Courts Now Open to Media

Posted on | February 24, 2012 | No Comments | megbishop

Earlier this month, Judge Michael Nash issued a blanketorder allowing the media access to all juvenile court proceedings in Los Angeles. This has caused quite a bit of controversy in the county. According to one reporter, he noted to On the Media, an attorney for children referred to her clients by numbers rather than by names to preserve confidentiality until a judge chastised her. Here is the first report from inside the newly open dependency courtrooms.

The purpose of this order, according to the LA Times is to encourage transparency and in turn increase the level of advocacy for children. Like many jurisdictions, unfortunately, LA County has had its share of terrible and troubling outcomes in dependency cases resulting in the deaths of many children. Proponents of this move feel that by opening up the courts, it will shine a light on the process and help to prevent horrific outcomes.

Many current and former foster children have participated in protests against the blanket order. The Children’s Law Center, which represents over 25,000 children in LA County, appealed the order and asked for an emergency stay citing concerns for the privacy of their child clients. The appeal was denied.

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