Clerk rescinds ban on journalists' access to court motions
Mar. 17, 2016
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) — A clerk's office in Virginia has ended a five-year policy of denying journalists access to any legal motions filed in the court after the rule was challenged by The Associated Press.
The policy had been in place since 2011 in the Prince William County General District Court. It was outlined in a one-page memo provided Wednesday to a reporter seeking to review motions filed in a capital murder case.
A supervisor in the office explained that members of the general public can read the files but reporters cannot.
On Thursday, the office's chief clerk said the policy had been implemented at the behest of a now-retired judge. The new chief judge has instructed the clerk to rescind the rule.