- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit Tuesday brought by a media outlet over a failure by the court in a California county to make some civil complaints available on the same day they are filed.

Courthouse News Service said it has waited up to 34 days to access some civil complaints in Ventura County Superior Court.

A federal judge failed to take that allegation into consideration when dismissing the lawsuit by the news service and instead ruled abstractly that the First Amendment does not mandate same-day access to civil complaints, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined.

It was the second time the 9th Circuit has overturned the judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.

The panel this time ordered that a new judge consider the matter, saying the district court judge had expressed “strong views, inconsistent with our prior opinion, on the merits of this case, failed to conduct the proper fact-specific inquiry, and dismissed this case before an answer was filed twice.”

A call to attorney Robert Naeve was not immediately returned. Naeve has represented Ventura County Superior Court Executive Officer Michael Planet, who is named in the suit.

Ventura County courts have said they must confirm the integrity of a civil complaint and have other tasks that may take priority over that.

Courthouse News Service writes about civil lawsuits for lawyers and other members of the news media.

The Associated Press joined a brief filed in the case in favor of Courthouse News Service.

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