from the Huntington Circuit Court No. 35C01-1605-F3-96 The
Honorable Thomas M. Hakes, Judge
Attorneys for Appellant Margaret M Christensen Bingham
Greenebaum Doll, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Stephen R. Creason Aaron T. Craft Deputy Attorneys
General Indianapolis, Indiana
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Intervenor, WPTA-TV, appeals the trial court's
grant of its request for a digitally recorded version of a
publicly available court record while limiting WPTA-TV's
use of the audio record and barring its broadcast or
WPTA-TV presents us with three issues on appeal, which we
consolidate and restate as the following two issues:
(1)Whether the trial court abused its discretion when it
applied Indiana Judicial Rule 2.17 to limit the use of an
audio recording of a sentencing hearing by a news media
(2)Whether the trial court's prohibition to broadcast the
audio recording of a judicial proceeding violates the First
Amendment to the United States Constitution.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
May 27, 2016, the State filed an Information, charging John
C. Mathew (Mathew) with rape, as a Level 3 felony; sexual
battery, as a Level 6 felony; and two Counts of battery, as
Class B Misdemeanors. The State subsequently amended the rape
charge to a charge for sexual battery, as a Level 6 felony.
After Mathew pled guilty to both sexual battery Counts, the
State dismissed the misdemeanor charges. On April 17, 2017,
the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing during which
the trial court imposed a two-year sentence on each Count.
The trial court ordered the sentences to run consecutive to
each other and suspended the entire sentence to probation
with Mathew serving two years on "electronic
monitoring/home detention" as a condition of probation.
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 5). Mathew was required to
register as a sex offender.
On April 18, 2017, WPTA-TV submitted an access to public
records request to receive the "audio recording of
sentencing hearing[;] documents (electronic or otherwise)
submitted as evidence[; and] private letters submitted on
behalf of victim and defendant[.]" (Appellant's App.
Vol. II, p. 11). On April 20, 2017, the trial court issued
its Order Limiting the Use of Court Record and Barring Its
Broadcast or Dissemination, concluding in, pertinent part, as
2. The [c]ourt is required to provide the record as
3. The requesting person may not broadcast the record,
subject to the contempt ...