Oklahoma Pub. Co. v. Dist. Court of Oklahoma Cnty., No. 76-867

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation97 S.Ct. 1045,51 L.Ed.2d 355,430 U.S. 308
Decision Date07 March 1977
Docket NumberNo. 76-867
PartiesOKLAHOMA PUBLISHING COMPANY v.

430 U.S. 308
97 S.Ct. 1045
51 L.Ed.2d 355
OKLAHOMA PUBLISHING COMPANY

v.

DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Oklahoma, et al.

No. 76-867.
March 7, 1977.

PER CURIAM.

A pretrial order entered by the District Court of Oklahoma County enjoined members of the news media from 'publishing, broadcasting, or disseminating, in any manner, the name or picture of (a) minor child' in connection with a juvenile proceeding involving that child then pending in that court. On application for prohibition and mandamus challenging the order as a prior restraint on the press violative of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma sustained the order. This Court entered a stay pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for cer-

Page 309

tiorari. 429 U.S. 967, 97 S.Ct. 430, 50 L.Ed.2d 578 (1976). We now grant the petition for certiorari and reverse the decision below.

A railroad switchman was fatally shot on July 26, 1976. On July 29, 1976, an 11-year-old boy, Larry Donnell Brewer, appeared at a detention hearing in Oklahoma County Juvenile Court on charges filed by state juvenile authorities alleging delinquency by second-degree murder in the shooting of this switchman. Reporters, including one from petitioner's newspapers, were present in the courtroom during the hearing and learned the juvenile's name. As the boy was escorted from the courthouse to a vehicle, one of petitioner's photographers took his picture. Thereafter, a number of stories using the boy's name and photograph were printed in newspapers within the county, including petitioner's three newspapers in Oklahoma City; radio stations broadcast his name and television stations showed film footage of him and identified him by name.

On August 3, 1976, the juvenile was arraigned at a closed hearing, at which the judge entered the pretrial order involved in this case.1 Additional news reports identifying the juvenile appeared on August 4 and 5. On August 16, the District Court denied petitioner's motion to quash the order. The Oklahoma Supreme Court then denied petitioner's writ of prohibition and mandamus, relying on Oklahoma statutes providing that juvenile proceedings are to be held in private 'unless specifically ordered by the judge to be conducted in public,' and that juvenile records are open to public inspection 'only by order of the court to persons having a legitimate

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interest therein.' Okl.Stat.Ann., Tit. 10, §§ 1111, 1125 (Supp.1976).

As we noted in entering our stay of the pretrial order, petitioner does not challenge the constitutionality of the Oklahoma statutes relied on by the court below. Petitioner asks us only to hold that the First and Fourteenth Amendments will not permit a state court to prohibit the publication of widely disseminated information obtained at court proceedings which were in fact open to the public. We think this result is...

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164 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Chagra, Nos. 82-1263
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 14 March 1983
    ...St. 261, 130 N.E.2d 701 (1955) (per curiam); Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 555 P.2d 1286 (Okl.1976), rev'd on other grounds, 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355 (1977); Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Jerome, 478 Pa. 484, 387 A.2d 425 (Pa.1978), appeal dismissed, 443 U......
  • Boehner v. McDermott, No. 98-7156
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 24 September 1999
    ...to punish truthful publication." 491 U.S. at 533. In two of those cases--Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. Oklahoma County District Court, 430 U.S. 308 (1977), and Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)-the published information had, like the information in Florida Star, been placed i......
  • San Bernardino County Dept. of Public Social Services v. Superior Court, No. E009021
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 12 July 1991
    ...the press's right to investigate and publish information which it has lawfully obtained. (Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court (1977) 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355: the judiciary cannot prohibit the publication of a juvenile's name and picture when that information has be......
  • DVD Copy Control Ass'n, Inc. v. Bunner, No. S102588.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 25 August 2003
    ...review commission lawfully obtained from the government violated the First Amendment]; Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court (1977) 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355 [holding that an injunction barring the news media from publishing the name or picture of a juvenile offender o......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
163 cases
  • U.S. v. Chagra, Nos. 82-1263
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 14 March 1983
    ...St. 261, 130 N.E.2d 701 (1955) (per curiam); Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 555 P.2d 1286 (Okl.1976), rev'd on other grounds, 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355 (1977); Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Jerome, 478 Pa. 484, 387 A.2d 425 (Pa.1978), appeal dismissed, 443 U......
  • Boehner v. McDermott, No. 98-7156
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 24 September 1999
    ...to punish truthful publication." 491 U.S. at 533. In two of those cases--Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. Oklahoma County District Court, 430 U.S. 308 (1977), and Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 U.S. 469 (1975)-the published information had, like the information in Florida Star, been placed i......
  • San Bernardino County Dept. of Public Social Services v. Superior Court, No. E009021
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 12 July 1991
    ...the press's right to investigate and publish information which it has lawfully obtained. (Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court (1977) 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355: the judiciary cannot prohibit the publication of a juvenile's name and picture when that information has be......
  • DVD Copy Control Ass'n, Inc. v. Bunner, No. S102588.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 25 August 2003
    ...review commission lawfully obtained from the government violated the First Amendment]; Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court (1977) 430 U.S. 308, 97 S.Ct. 1045, 51 L.Ed.2d 355 [holding that an injunction barring the news media from publishing the name or picture of a juvenile offender o......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The Gag Order: Asphyxiating the First Amendment
    • United States
    • Political Research Quarterly Nbr. 34-3, September 1981
    • 1 September 1981
    ...already presented during a judicial hearing.The Court already protects truthful reporting. See Oklahoma Publishing Co. v. District Court, 430 U.S. 308 (1977); Cox Broadcasting Corp. v. Cohn, 420 367, 374 (1947). Secondly, although the Court agreed that the trial judgewas correct in expectin......

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