Washington State Appellate Court Indicates Termination of Parental Rights Trials Should Be Open
In a recent Washington State Court of Appeals case, the appellate court indicated a termination trial (i.e., the termination of a parent-child relationship) in an adoption matter should be open to the public. Because of a procedural error, the appellate Court did not make such a ruling but ruled the appellant father, whose parental rights were terminated, raised a constitutional claim of error to RCW 26.33.060, which states, in part, as follows: “All hearings under this chapter shall be heard by the court without a jury…The general public shall be excluded and only those persons shall be admitted whose presence is requested by any person entitled to notice under this chapter or whom the judge finds to have a direct interest in the case or in the work of the court….”
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