The Westmoreland County Court, as are all courts, has a duty to protect the right of an accused's privacy. 77 C.J.S. Right of Privacy § 1, page 397; Rest. of Law of Torts, Section 867; Leverton v. Curtis Pub. Co., 3 Cir., 192 F.2d 974; Waring v. W.D.A.S. Broadcasting Station, Inc., 327 Pa. 433, 194 A. 631.
It cannot be doubted that a prisoner is powerless to do so by any means within his control, and in such case the court has an inherent duty to use all reasonable means to safeguard that right. Undoubtedly, such right of privacy is to be subordinated at least to the extent of permitting a limited scrutiny, to the public interest in obtaining information, where the subject of inquiry of a person has achieved or has had thrust upon him the questionable and indefinable status of a public figure. Sidis v. F-R Pub. Corp., 2 Cir., 113 F.2d 806; Leverton v. Curtis Pub. Co., 3 Cir., supra; Rest. of Law of Torts, Section 867. Yet, at the same time we must take cognizance of the fact that the constitutional right of the accused to a public trial is a privilege intended for his benefit. It does not entitle the press or the public to take advantage of his involuntary exposure at the bar of justice to employ photographic means to picture his plight in the toils of the law either while in jail, going or coming from court or while actually in the court room.
I must conclude, therefore, that the court has the right to forbid the use of cameras or the taking of photographs in the court room or in the vicinity of the court room during the progress of a trial. If such a right should yield to an asserted privilege of the press, the authority and dignity of the courts would be seriously impaired. It is essential to the integrity and independence of judicial tribunals that they shall have the power to enforce their own judgment as to what conduct is incompatible with the proper and orderly course of the administration of their duties. If the discretion of a judicial tribunal should be subordinated to that of the desires of the press or public in regard to the use of photographic instruments in the court room, adjacent to or in the vicinity of the facilities commonly used by the court in the administration of its duties, it would be difficult to limit the further reduction to which the authority of the court would be exposed.
Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C.A. provides, inter alia, in all actions tried upon the facts without a jury, the court shall find the facts specially and state separately its conclusions of law thereon.
A permanent injunction, when issues of fact determine whether or not the permanent injunction should be granted, comes within the purview of Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Hook v. Hook & Ackerman, Inc., 3 Cir., 213 F.2d 122.
It would appear to me that when an application for permanent injunction is refused, when issues of fact are the basis for denying the application for a permanent injunction, findings of fact and conclusions of law should be entered. Baltimore & O.R. Co. v. Chicago River & Indiana R. Co., 7 Cir., 170 F.2d 654.
In this proceeding the facts are not in dispute and the determination of the question is resolved solely on questions of law.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law have not been submitted to the court by the parties or their counsel, although the court has had the benefit of most exhaustive and thorough briefs. However, I believe strict compliance should be required as to the provisions of Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
The application for permanent injunction is refused together with all other prayers for relief as requested in plaintiffs' amended complaint, and the defendants are directed to submit Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to the court in accordance and consistent with the provisions of this opinion on or before the 26th day of August, 1957, together with appropriate order for judgment.
An appropriate order is entered.