Alaska News

Anchorage judge allows media, but no cameras, at Track Palin’s court appearances

Reporters  will be allowed to attend but not photograph or film court proceedings in a criminal case against Track Palin, an Anchorage judge ruled Monday.

Palin is accused of assaulting his father Todd Palin in a December incident at the family's home in Wasilla.

Palin's attorney had moved to keep reporters from covering his appearances in an Anchorage therapeutic court for veterans. Three media organizations — The Associated Press, KTUU Channel 2 News and KTVA Channel 11 News — fought the request.

The 29-year-old asked to transfer his case into Anchorage's Veterans Court, where participants discuss their progress in what the judge described as "soul searching conversation" court at each weekly meeting.

His attorney, Patrick Bergt, had asked the court to ban media from the court proceedings, citing privacy concerns of participants.

In Monday's ruling, Anchorage District Court Judge David Wallace noted that most court hearings, including veterans court, are open to the public.

To close the hearings to the public would "violate the basic and fundamental principles set forth in long standing precedent," wrote Wallace, who was appointed by then-Gov. Sarah Palin.

Wallace banned the use of still cameras, television cameras or cellphone cameras in the courtroom.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a reporter who covers news and features about life in Alaska, and has been focusing on corrections and psychiatric care issues in the state. Contact her at