ANSWERS: 5
  • As for whether it is legal for the paper to print the addresses, the answer is YES. The news media have an undeniable right to print this information. Most papers have an internal policy that they won’t, but the law does not preclude them from doing so. As for whether the police can divulge the information, the answer depends on your state or local law. However, in most jurisdictions it is completely legal. In fact, arrest records are public record even if you are a juvenile.
  • The answer to your question is NO...federal law states that no one under the age of 18 that has been involved in a criminal act or involved in legal matters, shall have their idenity revealed unless they have the written permission of the parents. could you imagine if there was a female rape victim and her name and address was reveal and she was 15? Or a kid that was 16 beat up a local boy and he had friends that wanted to take retaliation on the family..? this is why it is not allowed.
  • No it is not legal for the Police to divulge the names of minors and it is unethical for a newspaper to print the names.
  • That depends on what you mean by "underage". If you mean under the legal drinking age, but over 18, then yes they can release the names of the underage drinkers. If you mean the kids are minors, then no, they cannot. Let me elaborate, since there is apparently a heated debate about the legality of this. Typically, a juvenile offender's name is released only under certain conditions (if the juvenile is a violent offender, or has escaped from custody). Only 42 states allow for this, and the other 8 states prohibit the release of a juvenile offender's name or information in ANY circumstance.
  • It appears that many in the Answer Bag community is not concerned with giving accurate information. I have come to this conclusion because I was the only one to give factual information, yet I was the most heavily rated down. Perhaps in the future I should purposely give false information in order to get better ratings. In the meantime, allow me to correct everyone’s errors by actually citing some statutes and case law. This is for those individuals who rely on Answer Bag for factual information. The fact is that the law dealing with disclosure of juvenile arrest records varies by state, but not all states prevent disclosure (despite the false statements of other posters). For example, Arizona Revised Statute section 8-208 states that: A. The following records relating to a juvenile who is referred to juvenile court are open to public inspection: 1. Referrals involving delinquent acts, after the referrals have been made to the juvenile court or the county attorney has diverted the matter according to section 8-321. 2. Arrest records, after the juvenile is an accused as defined by section 13-501. 3. Delinquency hearings. 4. Disposition hearings. 5. A summary of delinquency, disposition and transfer hearings. 6. Revocation of probation hearings. 7. Appellate review. 8. Diversion proceedings involving delinquent acts. The relevant section is 8-208(A)(3). Underage drinking is a delinquency charge, so the information becomes public once a hearing is commenced in Arizona. A more telling example is that of Georgia. Georgia statute O.C.G.A. § 15-11-28 (c) provides that: "The general public shall be excluded from hearings involving delinquency, deprivation, or unruliness. Only the parties, their counsel, witnesses, persons accompanying a party for his assistance, and any other persons as the court finds have a proper interest in the proceeding or in the work of the court may be admitted by the court.” In 1984 the Florida Publishing Company challenged this statute on Constitutional grounds. See Florida Publishing Co. v. Morgan, 253 Ga. 467, 322 S.E.2d 233 (Ga. 1984). The Georgia Supreme Court held that “consistent with the Constitution, the state may create a rule that delinquency, deprivation, and unruliness hearings in juvenile court are presumed closed to the public (and press). However, for constitutional reasons, this presumption cannot be conclusive. The public and/or press must be given an opportunity to show that the state's or juveniles' interest in a closed hearing is not overriding or compelling." Thus, juvenile proceedings in Georgia can be accessed by the public so long as there is not a compelling or overriding reason to maintain closure. Again, the actual disclosure laws vary by state, and the U.S. Supreme Court has never directly addressed this issue. The Supreme Court has stated in numerous cases that criminal proceedings must be open to the public, but again, it never expressly addressed the issue of juvenile proceedings. As for the newspapers right to publish information, the Supreme Court has held that it is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment so long as the information was obtained legally. Although, I don’t believe there is any disagreement on this point. It was stated by other posters that disclosure is unethical, which is true. But it is not illegal. But if anyone disagrees, I will dig up the case law that states as much.

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