Most people do not realize that all court documents are public documents and can be accessed by the community. Public access fosters integrity in the judicial system. It is more difficult for a judge to rule in a discriminatory fashion when the public has access to the facts, the testimony, and the proceedings of every case. In addition, open access provides scrutiny from the community. Sometimes that scrutiny can improve the judicial system, other times it may leave it less credible. One significant problem with public access is that it renders private facts, public. In certain areas such as in a divorce, some facts should remain private. If the case involves the best interest of minor children, then the children’s lives may be exposed. There are things that a parent can do to protect the interest of the minor child or other matters that should remain private. However, the presumption is that the documents will remain public documents.
Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc, an Orange County family law firm.