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Rule 4-401.01 Electronic media coverage of courtproceedings.



To establish uniformstandards and procedures for electronic media coverage of court proceedings.


To permit electronicmedia coverage of proceedings while protecting the right of parties to a fairtrial, personal privacy and safety, the decorum and dignity of proceedings, andthe fair administration of justice.



This rule applies to the courts of record andnot of record.

This rule governselectronic media coverage of proceedings that are open to the public, includingproceedings conducted by remote transmission.


Statement of the Rule:

(1) Definitions.

(1)(A) ?Judge? as usedin this rule means the judge, justice, or court commissioner who ispresiding over the proceeding.

(1)(B) ?Proceeding? asused in this rule means any trial, hearing, or other matter that is open to thepublic.

(1)(C) ?Electronic mediacoverage? as used in this rule means recording or transmitting images or soundof a proceeding.

(1)(D) ?News reporter?as used in this rule means a publisher, editor, reporter or other similarperson who gathers, records, photographs, reports, or publishes information forthe primary purpose of disseminating news to the public, and any newspaper,magazine, or other periodical publication, press association or wire service,radio station, television station, satellite broadcast, cable system or otherorganization with whom that person is connected.


(2) Presumption ofelectronic media coverage; restrictions on coverage.

(2)(A) There is apresumption that electronic media coverage by a news reporter shall bepermitted in public proceedings where the predominant purpose of theelectronic media coverage request is journalism or dissemination of news to thepublic. The judge may prohibit or restrict electronic media coverage in thosecases only if the judge finds that the reasons for doing so are sufficientlycompelling to outweigh the presumption.

(2)(B) When determiningwhether the presumption of electronic media coverage has been overcome andwhether such coverage should be prohibited or restricted beyond the limitationsin this rule, a judge shall consider some or all of the following factors:

(2)(B)(i) whether there is a reasonable likelihood thatelectronic media coverage will prejudice the right of the parties to a fairproceeding;

(2)(B)(ii) whether there is a reasonable likelihood thatelectronic media coverage will jeopardize the safety or well-being of anyindividual;

(2)(B)(iii) whether there is a reasonable likelihood thatelectronic media coverage will jeopardize the interests or well-being of aminor;

(2)(B)(iv) whether there is a reasonable likelihood thatelectronic media coverage will constitute an unwarranted invasion of personalprivacy of any person;

(2)(B)(v) whether electronic media coverage will create adverseeffects greater than those caused by media coverage without recording ortransmitting images or sound;

(2)(B)(vi) the adequacy of the court?s physical facilities forelectronic media coverage;

(2)(B)(vii) the public interestin and newsworthiness of the proceeding;

(2)(B)(viii) potentially beneficial effects of allowing publicobservation of the proceeding through electronic media coverage; and

(2)(B)(ix) any other factoraffecting the fair administration of justice.

(2)(C) If the judgeprohibits or restricts electronic media coverage, the judge shall makeparticularized findings orally or in writing on the record. Any written orderdenying a request for electronic media coverage shall be made part of the caserecord.

(2)(D) Any reasons foundsufficient to prohibit or restrict electronic media coverage shall relate tothe specific circumstances of the proceeding rather than merely reflectgeneralized views or preferences.


(3) Duty of news reporters to obtain permission; termination orsuspension of coverage.

(3)(A) Unless otherwiseordered by the court, news reporters shall file a written request forpermission to provide electronic media coverage of a proceeding at least onebusiness day before the proceeding. The request shall be filed on a formprovided by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Upon a showing of goodcause, the judge may grant a request on shorter notice.

(3)(B) A judge mayterminate or suspend electronic media coverage at any time without prior noticeif the judge finds that continued electronic media coverage is no longerappropriate based upon consideration of one or more of the factors in Paragraph(2)(B). If permission to provide electronic media coverage is terminated orsuspended, the judge shall make the findings required in Paragraphs (2)(C) and(2)(D).


(4) Conduct in thecourtroom; pool coverage.

(4)(A) If a proceedingis conducted in the courtroom, electronic media coverage is limited to oneaudio recorder and operator, one video camera and operator, and one stillcamera and operator, unless otherwise approved by the judge ordesignee. All requests to provide electronic media coverage shall be made tothe court?s public information office. The news reporter whose request isgranted by the court will provide pool coverage.  

(4)(B) It is theresponsibility of news reporters to determine who will participate at any giventime, how they will pool their coverage, and how they will share audio, videoor photographic files produced by pool coverage. The pooling arrangement shallbe reached before the proceedings without imposing on the judge or court staff.Neither the judge nor court staff shall be called upon to resolve disputesconcerning pool arrangements.

(4)(C)  The approvednews reporter shall be capable of sharing audio, video or photographic fileswith other news reporters in a generally accepted format.  Newsreporters providing pool coverage shall promptly share their files with othernews reporters. News reporters must be willing and able to share their files tobe approved to provide coverage. (4)(D) News reporters shall designate arepresentative with whom the court may consult regarding pool coverage, andshall provide the court with the name and contact information for suchrepresentative.

(4)(E) Tripods may beused, but not flash or strobe lights. Normally available courtroom equipmentshall be used unless the judge or a designee approves modifications, whichshall be installed and maintained without court expense. Any modifications,including microphones and related wiring, shall be as unobtrusive as possible,shall be installed before the proceeding or during recess, and shall notinterfere with the movement of those in the courtroom.

(4)(F) The judge mayposition news reporters, equipment, and operators in the courtroom. Proceedingsshall not be disrupted. Equipment operators and news reporters in the courtroomshall:

(4)(F)(i) not use equipmentthat produces loud or distracting sounds;

(4)(F)(ii) not place equipment in nor remove equipment from thecourtroom nor change location while court is in session;

(4)(F)(iii) conceal any identifying business names, marks, callletters, logos or symbols;

(4)(F)(iv) not make comments inthe courtroom during the court proceedings;

(4)(F)(v) not comment to or within the hearing of the jury or anymember thereof at any time before the jury is dismissed;

(4)(F)(vi) present a neat appearance and conduct themselves in amanner consistent with the dignity of the proceedings;

(4)(F)(vii) not conduct interviews in the courtroom except aspermitted by the judge; and

(4)(F)(viii) comply with theorders and directives of the court.


(5) Violations. In addition to contemptand any other sanctions allowed by law, a judge may remove from or terminateelectronic access to the proceeding anyone violating this rule or the court?sorders and directives and terminate or suspend electronic media coverage.


(6) Limitations on electronic media coverage. Notwithstanding an authorization to conduct electronic mediacoverage of a proceeding, and unless expressly authorized by the judge, thereshall be no:

(6)(A) electronic media coverage of a juror or prospectivejuror until the person is dismissed;

(6)(B) electronic mediacoverage of the face of a person known to be a minor;

(6)(C) electronic media coverage of an exhibit or a documentthat is not part of the official public record;

(6)(D) electronic mediacoverage of proceedings in chambers;

(6)(E) audio recording ortransmission of the content of bench conferences; or

(6)(F) audio recording or transmission of the content ofconfidential communications between counsel and client, between clients, orbetween counsel.


(7) Except as providedby this rule, recording or transmitting images or sound of a proceeding withoutthe express permission of the judge is prohibited. This rule shall not diminishthe authority of the judge conferred by statute, rule, or common law to controlthe proceedings or areas immediately adjacent to the courtroom.


Effective November 1, 2020