Cameras in the Court Guide (Illinois-Minnesota)

Illinois
 
Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? No

 
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 63(A)(7) allows taking photos and broadcasting or televising coverage of court proceedings in Illinois only by order of the Supreme Court.  The rule states that court proceedings should be conducted with dignity and decorum and without distraction.  In addition, Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter 735, § 8-701 specifies that no witness will be compelled to testify in any court in the state if any portion of his testimony is to be covered. 
 
The Supreme Court of Illinois has authorized the use of cameras in some trial courtrooms.  In January 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court announced a pilot program to allow news cameras and news recording in trial courtrooms.  Before that, no cameras were allowed in trial courtrooms in Illinois.  Under the pilot program, trial courts, known as Circuit courts, must apply for approval to enter the pilot program.  The Supreme Court approves the Circuit courts for the program.  After approval, media may request to cover certain cases.  If the Circuit court has not applied for approval, or if the Supreme Court has not approved the Circuit, cameras are prohibited in that courtroom.   
 
Under the pilot program for trial courts, the media, through a designated media coordinator, may request extended media coverage, defined as electronic camera and audio coverage.  The trial judge and the chief judge have authority to disallow coverage, and decisions to deny coverage cannot be appealed.  The request for coverage must occur 14 days before the proceedings; the judge has discretion to extend or reduce the time requirement.  If extended media coverage is granted, no more than two video cameras and two still photographers are allowed to cover any one proceeding.  The media is responsible for developing pooling agreements, and if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will deny coverage.  A witness has the opportunity to object to coverage, but the ultimate decision to allow or disallow coverage belongs to the judge.  An exception to this rule is in cases of sexual abuse:  there will be no extended media coverage of a sexual abuse victim’s testimony unless the victim consents.  Likewise, victims of forcible felonies, police informants, undercover agents, and relocated witnesses may object to extended media coverage.  

Camera placement in the courtroom is designated by the judge, and members of the media may not move about the courtroom or move equipment about the courtroom while the court is in session.  
 
Extended media coverage is not allowed in trial courts for any juvenile, divorce, adoption, child custody, evidence suppression, trade secrets, or other legally private cases.  Similarly, extended coverage is not allowed during jury selection, and the media may not cover the jury or individual jurors.  
 
For coverage of appellate proceedings, consents are not required, although the judge or presiding officer, with good cause, may prohibit or terminate coverage at any time. Those wishing to cover a particular proceeding must notify the appropriate clerk of the court not less than five “court” days prior to the date the proceeding is scheduled to begin. Only one television camera operated by one camera person and two still cameras operated by one camera person are permitted in the courtroom at any one time. Artificial lighting of any kind is not allowed, and the media are responsible for any pooling arrangements.
 
Each county in Illinois determines its own policy for personal electronic devices in courtrooms.  For example, Madison County prohibits cell phones in its courthouse.  In Monroe County, cell phones are not allowed on the second floor of the courthouse where the courtrooms are located.  In Bond County and St. Louis County, cell phones may be brought into the courthouses, but must go through security.  In Washington County and Randolph County, individuals must leave their cell phones with security to enter the courthouse.    

Authority
 
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 63(A)(7):  http://www.state.il.us/court/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_I/ArtI.htm#63
 
Extended Media Coverage Pilot Project Order:  http://state.il.us/court/SupremeCourt/Announce/2012/012412.pdf

Other Links

Extended Media Coverage Pilot Project Press Release:  http://state.il.us/court/media/PressRel/2012/012412.pdf
 
News Report:  Madison County, Illinois Courts Ban Cell Phone (lists cell phone policies in various counties):  http://origin.ksdk.com/news/regional/article/308658/16/Madison-County-IL-courts-ban-cell-phones
 
Video Webcast:  Illinois Supreme Court:  http://state.il.us/court/Media/On_Demand.asp
 
Audio Webcast:  Illinois Appellate Court:  http://www.state.il.us/court/Media/Appellate/default.asp
 

Indiana

Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes

 
Extended media coverage of oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court is allowed. Requests for coverage are to be made at least 24 hours prior to the start of the proceeding.
 
Beginning September 1, 1997 and continuing indefinitely, the Indiana Court of Appeals allows extended media coverage of its proceedings. Requests for coverage are to be made at least 48 hours prior to the start of the oral argument.
 
Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17 prohibits that use of video equipment in courtrooms or areas adjacent thereto.  In 1997, the Indiana Supreme Court authorized a pilot project for video and audio coverage of proceedings in certain Indiana courtrooms. The program permitted certain trial judges to consent to media coverage, subject to certain restrictions (no coverage of police informants, undercover agents, minors, victims of sexual offenses, jurors, witnesses at sentencing hearings, bench conferences, attorney-client communications, and conversations among counsel).  On December 31, 2007, the pilot project ended with fewer than 10 test cases.
 
In January 2012, the Indiana Supreme Court authorized a limited pilot project for one media organization, The Times of Northwest Indiana, to webcast from three trial courtrooms.  The three judges who agreed to participate in to the pilot program have wide discretion to allow or deny webcasting for the whole or part of a trial.  The webcasts will be delayed at least two hours from the actual proceedings to allow for the judge to exercise discretion.   All civil proceedings, except for those that are legally closed to the public, may be webcast.  The Times may not webcast police informants, undercover agents, minors, victims of sex-related offenses, attorney-client communications, bench conferences, juvenile matters, jury selection, the jury proceedings held in chambers, custody and parenting time matters, guardianship and adoption, commitment, paternity, or no contact orders.  Parties may object to the webcasting; the judge will consider their interests and the interests of justice and public education to determine whether to allow the webcast.  The pilot program will run for 18 months and will be evaluated by a law school.  
    
Court rules regarding personal electronic devices can vary from court to court.  For example, in Steuben County, no cell phones are allowed in the courthouse.  
 
Authority

Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17:  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/rules/jud_conduct/index.html#_Toc281379854
 
Order 94S00-9705-MS-290:  Standards Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography of Oral Arguments Before the Indiana Court of Appeals:  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/media-appeals-broadcast-coverage.pdf
 
Order 94S00-0605-MS-166:  2007 Pilot Project for Electronic News Coverage in Indiana Trial Courts:  http://www.ai.org/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05090601ad.pdf
 
Order 94S00-1201-MS-46:  2012 Pilot Project for Webcasting:  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-other-2012-94S00-1201-MS-46.pdf
 
Rule LR76-AR-3, Steuben County Court Local Rules (Cell Phone Ban):  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/steuben-docs-lr083109.pdf

Other Links

Judicial Branch of Indiana:  Cameras in the Courtroom:  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2721.htm
 
Video Webcast:  Indiana Supreme Court:  http://www.in.gov/judiciary/2606.htm
 
Video Webcast:  Indiana Court of Appeals:  https://mycourts.in.gov/arguments/default.aspx?court=app
 

Iowa

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No 
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No 
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes

 
Extended media coverage, defined as “broadcasting, televising, electronic recording, or photographing of judicial proceedings for the purpose of gathering and disseminating news to the public, ”is generally permitted upon application to the presiding judge.” A media coordinator shall inform counsel and the judge of a request for coverage at least 14 days in advance of the proceeding. Iowa’s rules require that permission for extended media coverage be granted, unless the coverage will interfere with the rights of the parties or a witness or party provides a good cause why coverage should not be permitted. In certain types of proceedings, such as sexual abuse trials, witness or party consent is required.
 
Extended media coverage is not permitted, however, during jury selection or if a private proceeding is required by law. Prolonged or unnecessary coverage of jurors should be prevented to the extent practicable.
 
Written requests to use photographic equipment, television cameras, etc. must be made, in advance to the Media Coordinator, and equipment must meet certain specifications. Flash photography and other supplemental light sources are prohibited. Pooling arrangements must be made by the media.
 
All regularly scheduled Supreme Court oral arguments taking place in the Supreme Court’s courtroom are subject to expanded media coverage and are not subject to objections by witnesses or parties. 
 
There is no statewide policy regarding personal electronic  devices; however, many state judges have issued  administrative orders concerning using cell phones in the  courtroom.  For example, in Iowa’s Fifth Judicial District,  cell phones may be brought into the courthouse and used in  public areas; however, cell phones must be turned off  before entering the courtroom.  The Fifth Judicial District  specifically prohibits an individual’s use of a cell phone’s  camera or video function unless the individual obtains  express permission from the chief judge.  

Authority

Administrative Order 2008-13:  Iowa District Court, Fifth Judicial District:  http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=iowa%20administrative%20orders%20about%20cell%20phones%20in%20courts&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iowacourtsonline.org%2Fwfdata%2Fframe13213-1543%2FFile172.doc&ei=RDL_T9ivI4i-8ATc2-3sBg&usg=AFQjCNHDhqEW_RQ9lHPBWpSYdLjzSw1-Jg


Other Links

Iowa Judicial Branch:  Cameras and Recorders in Court:  http://www.iowacourtsonline.org/News_Service/
 
Iowa Judicial Branch:  Reporters’ Guide to Iowa Court Systems:  http://www.iowacourts.gov/wfdata/frame10038-1639/reporters_guide_to_IJB_2012.pdf
 
Iowa Freedom of Information Council:  Iowa Expanded Media Coverage Handbook:  http://www.drakejournalism.com/newsite_ifoic/_documents/iemch.pdf
 
 


Kansas

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No 
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No 
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? No


Rule 1001 of the Kansas Supreme Court authorizes extended media coverage of appellate and trial court proceedings and extends coverage to state municipal court proceedings. Under this rule, coverage is permissible only by the news media and educational television stations and only for news or educational purposes.

The media must give at least one week’s notice of its intention to cover a proceeding. However, this requirement may be waived upon a showing of good cause. Photographing of individual jurors is prohibited, and where coverage of the jury is unavoidable, no close-ups may be taken. Consents of the participants are not required. The presiding judge may prohibit coverage of individual participants at his discretion; however, if a participant is a police informant, undercover agent, relocated or juvenile witness, or victim/witness and requests not to be covered, the judge must prohibit coverage of that person. Coverage of a participant in proceedings involving motions to suppress evidence, divorce, or trade secrets will also be prohibited, if the participant so requests. Coverage of materials on counsel tables and photographing through the windows or open doors of the courtroom is also prohibited. Moreover, criminal defendants may not be photographed in restraints as they are being escorted to or from court proceedings prior to rendition of the verdict. Only one television camera, operated by one person, and one still photographer, using not more than two cameras, are authorized in any one court proceeding.
 


Kentucky

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No 
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No 
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes

 
Electronic coverage is permitted in all appellate and trial court proceedings. Consents of the parties are not required, but coverage is subject to the authority of the presiding judge. Requests for coverage should be made to the judge presiding over the proceeding for which coverage is desired. Coverage of attorney-client conferences or conferences at the bench are prohibited. Only one television camera and one still photographer, with not more than two still cameras, are allowed in the courtroom at any one time, and the media are responsible for any pooling arrangements. Juvenile proceedings are closed to the public. KRS 610.070.
 

Other Links

Reporter’s Handbook on Covering Kentucky Courts:  http://www.e-archives.ky.gov/pubs/aoc/ReportersHandbook042004.pdf

Video Webcast:  Kentucky Supreme Court:  http://courts.ky.gov/supremecourt/default.htm 
 

Louisiana

Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? No

Electronic coverage of appellate proceedings is allowed, while coverage at the trial level is generally prohibited. In the district courts, family courts, and juvenile courts, Louisiana District Court Rule 6.1 states that a judge should prohibit coverage at least during sessions of court and recesses from sessions.  In addition, a trial judge may also prohibit the use of electronic devices, like cell phones, in the courtroom.  Those wishing to cover trial-level proceedings should consult with the courts of that district or parish concerning coverage.  A trial judge may authorize coverage of ceremonial proceedings, or when the coverage is for educational use, does not distract parties or detract from the dignity of the court, is consented to, and is seen after the entire matter is finalized.   

At the appellate level, each court and its judge or panel has the authority to allow coverage; the court may prohibit coverage to ensure the fair administration of justice and to maintain control and decorum in the courtroom.  Obtaining the consent of the involved parties is not required, although the Court may prohibit coverage upon its own motion or if an objection is made by a party. Notice of intent to cover a proceeding must be made at least 20 days in advance or, in expedited proceedings, within a reasonable time before the proceeding is schedule to occur. No more than two television cameras, each operated by no more than one camera person, and one still photographer, using not more than two still cameras with not more than two lenses for each camera, will be permitted in the courtroom during proceedings. In addition, the media are responsible for any pooling arrangements.

The Louisiana Supreme Court provides a live webcast of oral arguments.

Authority

Canon 3A(9), Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct & Appendix. Video Webcast: Louisiana Supreme Court (http://www.lasc.org/)

Louisiana District Court Rule 6.1 (e)-(f):  http://www.lasc.org/rules/dist.ct/titleI.asp

 

Maine

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? No


Cameras and audio recording coverage are allowed in Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Superior Court, and District Court. Judges have the sole discretion to permit video and audio coverage and consider whether such coverage will negatively affect the court proceedings.  If the judge denies coverage, the party seeking coverage may ask the judge to reconsider, but orders regarding coverage are not reviewable.   
 
In the Supreme Judicial Court, one must file a notice of intent to cover public sessions, however, prior approval is not required.  The Clerk of the Court will instruct individuals or organizations regarding camera placement, and equipment cannot have any insignia or other display of affiliation.  The Court will only allow one video camera and one still camera during a proceeding, and the media are responsible for pooling.  
 
For civil proceedings in the lower courts, coverage is allowed in all proceedings except for cases involving the Family Division, child custody, child protection, adoption, paternity, parental rights, protection from abuse or harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct , trade secrets, or legally closed matters.  In addition, alleged victims and people with detectable physical or mental disabilities may elect to be excluded from coverage.  Coverage of the jury is prohibited, along with coverage of conferences among lawyers, clients, witnesses, or judges.  
 
For criminal proceedings in lower courts, judges must approve coverage in advance of the proceedings.  The media, with approval, may cover the nontestimonial portions of arraignments, bail hearings, pretrial motions, sentencing proceedings, post-trial motions, probation revocation proceedings, and petitions for post- conviction review.  In jury trials, coverage of the jury is prohibited.   The media may cover opening and closing statements, jury instructions, and the delivery of the verdict, but may not cover witness testimony.  In addition, the media may not cover grand jury proceedings, minors under 18, or conferences among lawyers, clients, witnesses, or judges.
 
In the lower courts, the judge decides how many cameras are allowed in the courtroom and where they will be placed.  Any person or organization must notify the clerk of the court in writing regarding the intent to cover a proceeding.  The camera and the recording personnel should not distract from the proceedings, and the equipment cannot bear any insignia or other display of affiliation.  The media are responsible for pooling.  
 
Maine courts do not allow people to use electronic devices in the courtroom.  Under an administrative order, Maine requires people to turn off cell phones, pagers, computers, and other electronic devices in the courtroom.  Electronic devices with cameras that are not authorized for use may be confiscated.    

Authority

Administrative Order JB-05-15 (A. 9-11):  Cameras and Audio Recording in the Courts:   http://www.courts.state.me.us/rules_adminorders/adminorders/JB-05-15%20(A.%209-11)%20%20Cameras%20&%20Audio.pdf 
 
Administrative Order JB-05-16 (A. 5-08):  Use of Cellular Phones, Pagers, Computers, and Other Electronic Devices in Courthouses:  http://www.courts.state.me.us/rules_adminorders/adminorders/JB-05-16%20(A.%205-08)%20Cell%20Phones.pdf
 

Maryland

Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
 
Maryland Rule of Procedure 16- 109 governs media coverage of courtroom proceedings. In the absence of a statutory provision requiring closed proceedings or permitting closed proceedings, coverage is permitted at civil trials, upon written consent of all the parties. Consent is not required, however, from a party that represents the government, or from an individual being sued in his or her governmental capacity. At the appellate level, consent is not required, but a party may move to limit or terminate coverage at any time. Requests for coverage must be submitted to the clerk of the court where the proceedings will be held at least five days before the trial begins. Coverage of jury selection, jurors or courtroom spectators, private conferences between an attorney and a client or conferences at the bench is prohibited. There is a presumption that good cause exists to prohibit or limit, on the presiding judge’s own initiative, coverage of cases involving custody, divorce, minors, relocated witnesses, and trade secrets. Not more than one television camera is permitted in any trial court proceeding, and not more than two are allowed in appellate proceedings. Only one still photographer, with not more than two cameras with not more than two lenses each, is allowed in both trial and appellate proceedings. Pooling arrangements are the sole responsibility of the media.
 
Rule 16-110 requires cell phones and other electronic devices to be turned off in courtrooms and prohibits their use for video or photographs.
 
Coverage is prohibited in criminal trials.

Some Maryland courts have rules that specifically govern the use of electronic devices in the courtroom.  For example, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, devices that are designed to receive commercial signals, like electronic games or MP3 players are prohibited from the courtroom.  Cell phones, including cell phones with camera and video streaming capabilities, PDAs, laptops, pagers, and electronic calendars are allowed in courtrooms; however, cell phones and pagers must be turned to silent.  Individuals who would like to use the electronic devices to take pictures or record events must obtain prior approval from the judge, and individuals who would like to use laptops must obtain prior approval from the judge.  In Howard County, electronic devices like cell phones and laptops are allowed in the courthouse, but must be turned off and stored so that the device is not visible.   The devices cannot be used to send or receive messages unless expressly authorized by a judge, or unless the individual is using the device in the lobby, hallway, or offices and is not disturbing others.    

Authority

Maryland Rule of Procedure 16-110:  Cell Phones; Other Electronic Devices; Cameras:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/reference/cellphonenotice.html
 
Maryland Rule of Procedure 16-109:  http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/
 
Maryland Criminal Procedure § 1-201:  http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/
 
Prince George’s County:  Amended Policy Governing Portable Electronic Devices and Controlled Dangerous Substances:  http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/Government/JudicialBranch/Circuit/PDFs/electronicdevices_CDS%20policy_7th_0807.pdf
 
Howard County:  Electroinc Equipment, Cell Phones and Computers:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/circuit/howard/pdfs/ao201202.pdf

Other Links

Media Resource Center:  Cameras in the Courtroom:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/communications/camerasincourtroom.html#appellate
 
The Journalist’s Guide to Maryland’s Legal System:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/journalistguide2003.pdf
 
Video Webcast:  Maryland Court of Appeals:  http://www.courts.state.md.us/coappeals/webcast.html 


Massachusetts

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
 
Rule 1:19 of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts permits extended coverage of all proceedings open to the public except hearings on motions to suppress or to dismiss, or of probable cause or jury selection hearings. Close-up shots of bench conferences, conferences between attorneys, or attorney-client conferences is prohibited. Frontal and close-up photography of the jury “should not usually be permitted.” The media must submit requests for coverage to the presiding judge “reasonably” in advance of the proceeding to be covered, or risk denial. Before a party or a witness may move to limit media coverage, it must first notify the Bureau Chief, Newspaper Editor, or Broadcast Editor of the Associated Press. Oral arguments before the Supreme Judicial Court are available by webcast.
 
In 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Court held in favor of  a National Public Radio (NPR) pilot project that streams  certain court proceedings online.  NPR’s pilot project,  called OpenCourt, broadcasts one district court’s court  proceedings live by streaming video and audio on the  Internet.  The Supreme Judicial Court Media-Judiciary  committee approved OpenCourt.  The Supreme Court held  that “any order restricting OpenCourt's ability to publish --  by "streaming live" over the Internet, publicly archiving on  the website or otherwise -- existing audio and video  recordings of court room proceedings represents a form of  prior restraint on the freedoms of the press and speech  protected by the First Amendment and art.”  In addition, the  Court requested that the Judiciary-Media committee  develop guidelines for the pilot program.  

Authority

Commonwealth v. Barnes (Mass. 2012):  http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/cyberlawclinic/files/2012/03/Commonwealth-v-Barnes.pdf

Video Webcast: Supreme Judicial Court



Michigan

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
 
Extended coverage of judicial proceedings is permitted, but requests for coverage must be made in writing not less than three business days before the proceeding is scheduled to begin. A judge may terminate, suspend or exclude coverage at any time upon a finding, made and articulated on the record that the rules for coverage have been violated or that the fair administration of justice requires such action. Such decisions are not appealable. Coverage of jurors or the jury selection process is not permitted. The judge has sole discretion to exclude coverage of certain witnesses, including but not limited to, the victims of sex crimes and their families, police informants, undercover agents and relocated witnesses.

Michigan Court Rule 8.115 governs the use of cell phones  and other electronic devices in courtrooms.  Each court  facility has the authority to develop a policy for the use of  electronic equipment outside of courtrooms.  In  courtrooms, the chief judge has the authority to establish a  policy for the use of portable electronic equipment, like cell  phones and laptops.  No judge may allow people using  portable electronic devices to take photographs of jurors or  witnesses, and each individual using a portable electronic  device to coverage a court proceeding must obtain  permission from the judge.  Under this rule, individuals  may live blog, tweet, or cover court proceedings in some  other way if the coverage is allowed under the rules of the  chief judge and approved.       

Authority

Michigan Court Rule 8.115:  Courtroom Decorum; Policy Regarding Use of Cell Phones or Other Portable Electronic Communications Devices:  http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/Resources/Administrative/2008-35-08-25-09.pdf

Other Links


A Journalists’ Guide to Covering Michigan State Courts: http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/press/JournalistsGuide/JournalistsHandbook.pdf
 
Michigan Government Television:  http://www.mgtv.org/
 
Video Webcast:  Michigan Supreme Court:  http://www.michbar.org/courts/virtualcourt.cfm


Minnesota


Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes

 

Expanded coverage is permitted at both the trial and appellate level, but at the trial level, the judge and all parties must consent to coverage prior to commencement of the trial. 
 
Minnesota General Rules of Practice Rules 4.01-4.03 govern coverage of district courts.  Effective July 1, 2011, Minnesota is implementing a two year pilot project allowing a judge to authorize recording of court proceedings with the consent of all parties in criminal proceedings and without the consent of all parties in civil proceedings. All courtroom coverage must occur in the presence of the presiding judge. Coverage of witnesses who object prior to testifying and coverage of jurors is prohibited, as is coverage of hearings that take place outside of the presence of the jury. Coverage is prohibited in cases involving child custody, divorce, juvenile proceedings, child protection proceedings, paternity proceedings, civil commitment proceedings, petitions for orders for protection, hearings on suppression of evidence, police informants, relocated witnesses, sex crimes, trade secrets, and undercover agents. 
 
To cover trial court proceedings, the media must give written notice of the intent to cover the proceedings at least 10 days before the proceedings begin.  A party who opposes coverage may object to coverage and must do so at least 3 days before the proceedings begin.  The judge has discretion to allow or prohibit coverage and will decide before the proceedings begin.  The judge also has discretion to limit or terminate cover at any point during the proceeding.  The decision of the judge can be appealed, but only after the proceeding has been completed and only by a party.  
 
The trial court judge also has the authority to regulate the means by which coverage occurs.  In the absence of a specific order, Rule 4.04 sets forth default technical standards.  No more than one movie camera with one operator and two still cameras with one photographer are allowed in the proceeding.    Only one audio system for radio broadcast is allowed.  The media are responsible for pooling agreements.  Recording equipment cannot produce distracting sounds or lights.  The trial judge determines the location of recording equipment.     
 
At the appellate level, Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure Rule 134.10 governs coverage.   Consents of the parties and witnesses are not required, but the Clerk of the Appellate Courts must be notified of an intent to cover the proceedings at least 24 hours in advance of the coverage.  Only one television camera and one still photographer, using not more than two cameras with two lenses each are permitted in the courtroom during proceedings. The media may not use motor-driven still cameras. The court determines the location for all recording equipment.  The media are responsible for arranging pooling agreements.  

Authority


Other Links

Media Resource Center:  Cameras in Minnesota Courts:  http://www.mncourts.gov/?page=429

Video Webcast:  Minnesota Supreme Court:  http://www.tpt.org/courts/