ARE JUVENILE COURTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?
The general rule is that Juvenile Courts are closed. They are not open to the public, but only to the parties, lawyers, and court officials.
The reason is to protect the privacy of juveniles.
When Juvenile Courts started, they were delinquency courts. The idea was to protect youngsters who had broken the law, and reform them.
Everyone agrees that such courts should be closed.
However, as abuse/neglect cases developed in Juvenile Court, many persons questioned whether such courts should still be closed.
Closing the courts does protect families in many instances. In other instances, however, closing the courts keeps abuses hidden from the public.
Connecticut had instituted a program to open Juvenile Court abuse/neglect cases in limited instances and with strict controls.
That program was evaluated, and was replaced, effective July 1, 2011.
The new law allows persons such as foster parents and relatives of the child, and possibly members of the news media, to attend Juvenile Court hearings;
but only with the permission of the Judge. If you have a question in a particular case, you should consult an attorney.
Reference: C.C.S. Section 46b-122