KYTV, an NBC-affiliate in southwestern Missouri, has joined local newspaper The Springfield News-Leader in trying to keep a guardianship case open to the public.
The two media outlets have hired an attorney with extensive experience on First Amendment cases to argue that court documents should remain open in a case involving John Q. Hammons, an ailing local businessman whose friends are working to have a public official put in charge of his guardianship.
Hammons, 92, currently lives in a nursing home and eight of his friends have joined together to argue that Jacquie Dowdy, Hammons’s legal guardian and former business associate, is keeping him unnecessarily secluded.
Through his legal representative, Hammons asserts that he is concerned that a court case could violate his right to privacy.
“It’s our job as journalists to put out as much information as possible,” KYTV news director Scott Brady told the News-Leader, saying that the case was important to the area’s business community.
Here’s a KYTV report on the court’s consideration of limiting public access: