TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Media advocates say they are concerned Kansas courts are closing more records and hearings to the public.
The Kansas Press Association and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government point to recent instances where hearings or court records were closed in high-profile cases, including quadruple murders in Parsons and in Franklin County.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a 1981 Kansas Supreme Court ruling laid out specific rules judges must follow before closing any pretrial proceedings or sealing records. Advocates say those rules have not been followed in recent cases.
A bill before the Legislature would unseal the court records used to establish probable cause to obtain a search or arrest warrant. It has been approved by the House and might be discussed during the wrap-up session, which starts Wednesday.