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Judge says state courts must offer timely access to filings

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Posted at 8:50 PM, Feb 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-23 20:50:18-05

NORFOLK, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia says the First Amendment guarantees a qualified right to access newly filed civil lawsuits on the day they are filed.

The judge also declared late last week that state court officials in Norfolk and Prince William County deprived a court news service of that First Amendment right for several months starting in January 2018.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by Courthouse News Service after its reporters were forced to wait for court clerks to docket and scan complaints before making them available on public computer terminals.