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Did You Know: Juvenile Court Proceedings are Open to the Public

It is a common misconception that juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public.  In reality, juvenile court proceedings are open to the public by default just like adult court proceedings.  However, it is possible to close juvenile court proceedings in certain situations.  The procedure for doing so is outlined in the Arizona Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Rule 19.B.1:

“Any person requesting that a hearing or portion thereof be closed to the public shall give notice of such request to the parties, or to any other person designated by the court, which may include one or more media representatives.  The court shall hold a hearing, prior to the proceeding, to determine whether the proceeding should be closed and shall consider the positions of the parties.  In determining whether to close a hearing or any portion thereof, the judge may consider any relevant factors, including the likelihood than an open hearing may:

a.    Be emotionally harmful to a participant, or
b.    Inhibit testimony or the disclosure or discussion of information material to the truth-finding or rehabilitation process, or
c.    Otherwise interfere with the emotional well-being of the victim”

All requests to close a hearing should be made to the court in writing and show that there is a need to protect the best interests of a victim, the charged juvenile, a witness, the State, or that there is a clear public interest in confidentiality.

The Legal Jargon: Arizona Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court, Rule 19.B.1

The juvenile court process is much different and more complex than adult court.  If you or a loved one has been arrested for juvenile crimes, it is important to have an experienced juvenile criminal attorney on your side.  At Oracle Law Group, we have veteran juvenile lawyers on staff who can help you through this difficult time.  If your loved one is in trouble, do not wait.  Contact us today for your free consultation.  At Oracle Law Group we listen, we care, and we want to help.

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