Alaska Statutes.
Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
Chapter 10. Children in Need of Aid
Section 70. Hearings.
previous: Section 60. Waiver of Jurisdiction. [Repealed, Sec. 55 Ch 59 SLA 1996. For Current Law, See AS 47.12.100 ].
next: Section 72. Access to Hearing By Victim. [Repealed, Sec. 23 Ch 57 SLA 1991. For Current Law See AS 47.10.070 (b)].

AS 47.10.070. Hearings.

(a) The court may conduct the hearing on the petition in an informal manner. The court shall give notice of the hearing to the department, and it may send a representative to the hearing. The court shall also transmit a copy of the petition to the department. The department shall send notice of the hearing to the persons for whom notice is required under AS 47.10.030 (b) and to each grandparent of the child entitled to notice under AS 47.10.030 (d). The department and the persons to whom the department must send notice of the hearing are entitled to be heard at the hearing. Except as provided in (c) of this section, and unless prohibited by federal or state law, court order, or court rule, a hearing is open to the public.

(b) [Repealed, Sec. 55 ch 59 SLA 1996].

(c) Except as provided in (e) of this section, the following hearings in child-in-need-of-aid cases are closed to the public:

(1) the initial court hearing after the filing of a petition to commence the child-in-need-of-aid case;

(2) a hearing following the initial hearing in which a parent, child, or other party to the case is present but has not had an opportunity to obtain legal representation;

(3) a hearing, or a part of a hearing, for which the court issues a written order finding that allowing the hearing, or part of the hearing, to be open to the public would reasonably be expected to

(A) stigmatize or be emotionally damaging to a child;

(B) inhibit a child's testimony in that hearing;

(C) disclose matters otherwise required to be kept confidential by state or federal statute or regulation, court order, or court rule; or

(D) interfere with a criminal investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a criminal proceeding; before ruling on a request under this subparagraph, the court shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the state or a municipal agency that is assigned to the criminal investigation or to the prosecuting attorney.

(d) If a hearing, or part of a hearing, in a child-in-need-of-aid case is not closed under (c) of this section, the court shall hear in camera any information offered regarding the location, or readily leading to the location, of a parent, child, or other party to the case who is a victim of domestic violence or whose safety or welfare may be endangered by public release of the information. Access to testimony heard in camera under this subsection is limited to the court and authorized court personnel.

(e) The grandparents of the child and an out-of-home care provider may attend hearings that are otherwise closed to the public under (c) of this section. However, the court shall limit the presence of these persons in a hearing closed to the public to the time during which the person's testimony is being given if the court determines that the limitation is necessary under (c)(3) of this section.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person attending a hearing open to the public may not disclose a name, picture, or other information that would readily lead to the identification of a child who is the subject of the child-in-need-of-aid case. At the beginning of the hearing, the court shall issue an order specifying the restrictions necessary to comply with this subsection. If a person violates the order, the court may impose any appropriate sanction, including contempt and closure of any further hearings to the person.

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