Taskforce Recommends Opening Up Family Court

Oct 30, 2013

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of a task force studying limitations on public access to Family Court proceedings are recommending that some proceedings currently closed be presumed open to the public.

Panel members voted Tuesday to recommend that divorce, alimony and property division proceedings be presumed open.

They also voted to recommend that child custody and visitation hearings be presumed open, while barring minor children involved from listening to testimony. Task force members also agreed that adoption proceedings should remain closed.

Panel members acknowledge that opening some Family Court proceedings would require more work to determine which, if any, records related to those proceedings should be open.

Delaware's constitution says all courts shall be open, but many Family Court proceedings nevertheless take place in secret because of laws passed by the General Assembly.