Reporter told to leave St. Louis municipal court

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – The city of St. Louis is leading regional efforts to reform municipal traffic courts, but getting an up-close look at the system isn’t always easy.

Court officials and St. Louis marshals ordered an Associated Press reporter to leave the municipal courthouse Monday during an open court docket, despite state laws that generally allow for public access to legal proceedings with limited exceptions.

Court administrator Cathy Ruggeri-Rea said public attendance is restricted because of privacy concerns and requires advance permission from the presiding judge. She later said the judge had agreed to allow the press in.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay said the request for the reporter to leave was a mistake.