open court. 1. A court that is in session, presided over by a judge, attended by the parties and their attorneys, and engaged in judicial business. • Open court usu. refers to a proceeding in which formal entries are made on the record. The term is distinguished from a court that is hearing evidence in camera or from a judge that is exercising merely magisterial powers. 2. A court session that the public is free to attend. • Most state constitutions have open-court provisions guaranteeing the public’s right to attend trials. [Cases: Constitutional Law  328; Federal Civil Procedure  1951; Trial  20. C.J.S. Constitutional Law §§ 1428–1432; Trial § 97.]

[Blacks Law 8th]