News

NY Chief Judge ‘Disturbed’ By Report Claiming Public Barred From Family Courts

Generic courtroom image (credit: CBS 2)

Generic courtroom image (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The New York Times is reporting that a 1997 order opening family court proceedings to the public is being disregarded around much of the city.

The newspaper reported Friday that over one week a reporter tried to enter 40 courtrooms around the city but was allowed access to only five. During those attempts, the reporter didn’t identify himself as a journalist.

EXTRA: Lippmann’s Memo To The Courts (pdf)

When the reporter did identify himself, he was required to show his credentials and get clearance from court officials.

In response to the report, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann is directing all family court judges to comply with the law and open the courts.

In statement, Lippmann said he was “disturbed” by the information in the article.

“Fourteen years ago, we as an institution made it crystal clear that Family Court proceedings are presumptively open to the public,” Lippmann said. “We can never achieve the recognition and the resources that Family Court so greatly needs, and deserves, without the public being able to see the critical work that the Court does each and every day.”

Spokesman David Bookstaver told 1010 WINS Lippmann is sending a message to all family court judges to immediately correct this issue.

The administrative judge of the New York City Family Courts said she has ordered a review.

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