FamilyLawCourts.com - No one over eleven believes it's working.
Kelly Rutherford had this to say about dealing with power monger, judge.
"Judge Gesmer lacked the capacity, the will or the knowledge to do the right thing, but I will continue to fight for my children, and one day I will land in the courtroom of a decent judge"
which was spoken after the Judge Gesmer ordered her to return her kids to Monaco.
Custody hearings in California custody cases are closed only after a petition for such is made. They are rarely granted. It is different in New York.
(Unless the judge is star-struck. Most judges agree that's not in the best interests of justice, or the public to not treat stars differently. (But again, some judges are significantly star-struck)
Except when it comes to finance. Ask California billionaire, Ron Burkle, who got lobbyists to make financial records secret. Twice. Burkle failed both times.
Which is not to say there aren't secret dockets. There are. See Secret Dockets.