Judge Closes Kingston Hearing

Judge Closes Kingston Hearing

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The judge presiding over the custody case of the children of Heidi Mattingly and polygamist John Daniel Kingston closed the courtroom today to reporters and other members of the public.

Guardian ad litem Kristen Brewer, a court-appointed advocate for the children, asked that the hearing be closed. She argued that the children's mental health would be discussed, and that information should NOT be public.

The state attorney general's office did not object, nor did Mattingly's attorney. The only objection came from Kingston's attorney, who said all other proceedings in this case have been held in open court.

Judge Elizabeth Lindsley did close the courtroom, only allowing lawyers, therapists and the parents to remain.

An attorney representing media outlets including The Associated Press is trying to either have the judge open the hearing or at least stop today's proceedings until the matter can be resolved.

Hearings in Utah's juvenile courts are generally open to the public, unless minor children are testifying. In this case, the older Kingston children have testified during public sessions, and the therapists have previously testified during open session.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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