PROVO, UT (ABC4) – Due to the media storm surrounding the case of YouTube Vlogger Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, a judge has sealed all the records and court proceedings regarding the child welfare case involving the minor children of Franke.
On Sept. 7, the parties appeared in court during a shelter hearing. During the hearing, a member of the press gained access to the hearings unannounced and had access to highly sensitive information pertaining to the children. Later, the media outlet publicized the news story disseminating “confidential and intensely private information about the children to a worldwide audience.”
The court has now ordered that all future hearings in the case be closed to the public and the media. Extended family members may attend after their relationship has been verified. Family members are further restricted from sharing any of the proceedings.
Despite any interest the public or press may have, the safety, welfare, and best interests of theFourth District Juvenile Court, Utah County
children in this case are of the utmost importance. When highly confidential information about
the children is available to the public and the press, the best interests of the children are
immediately placed in jeopardy. Without adequate safeguards to shield the children from the
intrusive effects of media coverage related to this case, the Court cannot guarantee a fair,
impartial, and private process for the parties or the children. For these reasons, the Court believes that the privacy concerns in this matter are insurmountable and there are no reasonable means by which the Juvenile Court can carry out its essential functions while simultaneously protecting the privacy and best interests of the children unless the proceedings are deemed closed to the public and media.