Court blocks Judge Tracie Hunter from hiring her own attorneys

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CINCINNATI - Hamilton County Judge Tracie Hunter tried to hire three attorneys to defend a lawsuit 9 On Your Side brought against the Juvenile Court judge. But an appeals court blocked her Friday.

County prosecutor Joe Deters filed a motion to stop Hunter from using those attorneys, saying a sitting judge must either use attorneys from the prosecutor's office or have his office secure her counsel.

Citing Ohio law, the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals agreed and ruled that Hunter hadn't followed the process for hiring private attorneys.

According to a news release, Hunter's attorneys were going to take the case for free.

WCPO filed suit against Judge Hunter over new, broad restrictions she placed on the media in her courtroom.

She is presiding over the proceedings for six teens charged in the beating of a North College Hill man.

Judge Hunter has changed the rules of the court to include an indefinite ban if a media organization uses the juveniles' – or their parents' – names or video of them shot in or out of court.

9 On Your Side contends the restrictions are unconstitutional and set a bad precedent.

In a news release sent out Friday, Judge Hunter's attorneys claim WCPO is going to reveal the identity of the six teens charged in the case.

9 On Your Side Vice President and General Manager Jeff Brogan says, "We've covered the story in a fair, in-depth manner since the arrests last year and will continue to be responsible in our reporting. We have never named the teens involved in the case or identified them in any way."

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