ASNE joins amicus brief in favor of immediate access to civil complaints

From the American Society of News Editors ASNE joined an amicus brief drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which argues in favor of immediate access to civil court documents.

In this particular case, Courthouse News Service v. Planet, the brief highlights the importance of immediate access to civil complaints in the face of a decision by a federal District Court in California that there is no First Amendment right of access to these documents and, hence, there is no right to access civil complaints until the first court hearing in the case.

Our brief, filed with the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, argues that such a First Amendment right, or at least a common law right, exists and is necessary to ensure the public is informed about and can oversee and even participate in the case from the start.