Cameras in the Court Guide (Mississippi-North Carolina)

Mississippi

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

 
Mississippi’s Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings (“MREPC”),permit electronic media coverage of judicial proceedings (trial, pre-trial hearings, post-trial hearings and appellate arguments) in Mississippi’s Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, chancery courts, circuit courts and county courts.
 
Electronic coverage is subject to the authority of the presiding judge who may limit or terminate coverage at any time if there is a need to (1) control the conduct of the proceedings; (2) ensure decorum and prevent distraction; or (3) ensure fair administration of justice. Any party may object by written motion, filed no later than 15 days prior to the proceeding, unless good cause allows for a shorter filing period. Under MREPC the media is required to notify the clerk and the court of any plans to cover a proceeding at least 48 hours prior to the proceeding.
 
The media must comply with certain coverage restrictions. Electronic coverage of police informants; minors; undercover agents; relocated witnesses; victims and families of victims of sex crimes; victims of domestic abuse, and members or potential members of the jury (before their final dismissal) is expressly prohibited. In addition, audio recordings of off-the-record conferences and coverage of closed proceedings are also prohibited. Similarly, coverage of divorce; child custody; support; guardianship; conservatorship; commitment; waiver of parental consent to abortion; adoption; delinquency and neglect of minors; paternity proceedings; termination of parental rights; domestic abuse; motions to suppress evidence; proceedings involving trade secrets; and in camera proceedings are prohibited unless authorized by the presiding judge.
 
Only one television camera, one video recorder, one audio system, and one still camera are allowed in the courtroom at one time and the media are responsible for pooling arrangements. If the media cannot agree to a pooling arrangement, all contesting media personnel shall be excluded from the proceeding. Electronic media coverage may not distract from the courtroom proceedings, and in accordance with this principle, no artificial, flash or strobe lighting is allowed in the courtroom without the notification and approval of the presiding judge. All wires must be taped to the floor and equipment may only be moved before or after a proceeding or during a recess. The presiding judge may “relax” the technical restrictions so long as no distractions are created.
 
In 2005, the Mississippi Supreme Court, in In re WLBT,  Inc., set aside a circuit court’s order to prohibit television  coverage of a high profile case.  The court stated that “the  complete exclusion of cameras should be resorted to only  after less restrictive measures have been considered and  found to be inadequate.”  In this case, the lower court judge  failed to give sufficient reasons for denying television  coverage, so the high court held in favor of coverage.      
 
In the Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals,  both housed in the Carroll Gartin Justice Building, laptops  are permitted.  Cell phones are also permitted in the  courtroom, however, they must be turned off.  The  appellate courts do not allow members of the general public  to use tape recording devices, video recording devices, or  cameras unless the individual has permission.    
 
Authority
 

Other Links

Frequently Asked Questions-Media:  http://courts.ms.gov/faqs/media_faqs.pdf#zoom=75
 
Visitors’ Guide to the Carroll Gartin Justice Building:  http://courts.ms.gov/appellate_courts/map_visitorsguide.pdf#zoom=75
 
Video Webcast:  Mississippi Supreme Court:  http://courts.ms.gov/appellate_courts/sc/scoralarguments.html
 


Missouri

Allows Cameras? Yes
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? No
Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
 
Media coverage at both the trial and appellate levels is permitted, but coverage of jury selection, juvenile, adoption, domestic relations, and child custody cases is not permitted. The media may, upon permission of the judge, record a juvenile being prosecuted as an adult. Requests for coverage must be made to the media coordinator, in writing, at least five days in advance of the scheduled proceeding, and the media coordinator must then give written notice of the request to counsel for all parties, parties appearing without counsel, and the judge at least four days in advance of the proceeding. Coverage of objecting participants who are victims of crimes, police informants, undercover agents, relocated witnesses, or juveniles is prohibited. Further, the judge may prohibit coverage of any or all of a participant’s testimony, either upon the objection of the participant, party, or the court’s own motion. Only one television camera and one still photographer, using not more than two cameras with two lenses each, are allowed in the courtroom at any one time. The media are responsible for all pooling arrangements.
 
Authority
 
Administrative Rule 16, Missouri Supreme Court Rules.
 
Other Links

Missouri Courts:  Cameras in the Courtroom:  http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=690

A Guide to Missouri’s Court Operating Rule 16:  http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=333

Audio Webcast:  Supreme Court of Missouri:  http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=1977


Montana

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

 
Coverage of trial and appellate courts is permitted, though judges may restrict coverage of proceedings upon a finding that media coverage will “substantially and materially interfere with the primary function of the court to resolve disputes fairly under the law.”
 
Authority

Canon 35, Montana Canons of Judicial Ethics, 176 Mont. xxiii, 6 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 1543 (1980).

Nebraska

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

 
Media coverage in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals is explicitly permitted, but this right is only afforded to "persons or organizations which are part of the news media." Party consent is not required, although a party may file an objection to media coverage before commencement of the proceeding in question.
 
Broadcasting and photographing from other courtrooms is generally prohibited except where authorized under rules prescribed by the Nebraska Supreme Court. Several trial courts are operating under an experimental policy for expanded media coverage. Under the experimental rules a judge will grant permission for expanded media coverage unless the judge determines that such coverage would interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial. Coverage must be requested through the media coordinator at least 14 days in advance. Expanded coverage is not permitted for private proceedings, such as juvenile, dissolution, adoption, child custody, or trade secrets cases, unless there is consent from all parties. Witnesses can object to coverage of their testimony, but they must show good cause unless the testimony is related to sexual abuse or a forcible felony or if the witness is a police informant, undercover agent, or relocated witness, in which case there is a rebuttable presumption of good cause. Expanded coverage of jurors is generally prohibited, except if the judge permits coverage of the return of the jury’s verdict.
 
In all courts, no more than one television camera with one operator, and no more than one still photographer with no more than two cameras will be permitted in the courtroom at one time. Media are responsible for their own pooling arrangements.
 
Nebraska’s Appellate Courts provide live video webcasts of oral arguments, along with audio archives dating back to September 2008.

Authority

Nebraska Court Rules of Appellate Practice Rule 2-117:   Media coverage of proceedings before Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals:  http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/pdf/Ch2Art1.pdf
 
Nebraska Court Rules of Appellate Practice Rule 2-118:   Media coverage of proceedings before any court other than Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals:  http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/pdf/Ch2Art1.pdf 
 
Rules for Expanded Media Coverage in Nebraska Trial Courts:  First Judicial District:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/external/1stJudDistCtMedia.pdf
 
Rules for Expanded Media Coverage in Nebraska Trial Courts:  Second Judicial District:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/external/2dJudDistCtMedia.pdf
 
Rules of the District Court for the Third Judicial District Rule 3-15:  Courtroom Media Coverage:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/trial-court/district-3.pdf
 
Rules for Expanded Media Coverage in Nebraska Trial Courts:  Fifth Judicial District:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/rules/trial-court/dist5ctyctMediaCoverage.pdf  

Other Links

Nebraska Judicial Branch:  For the Press:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/press/
 
Nebraska Bar:  Press Guidelines:  http://supremecourt.ne.gov/press/bar-guidelines.shtml
 
Video Webcast:  Nebraska Supreme Court and Court of Appeals:  http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/oral-arguments/livevideo.shtml


Nevada

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

 
Supreme Court Rules 229-246 govern electronic coverage of court proceedings in Nevada.  These rules are broad and extend to new media:  news reporters are defined as “any person who gathers, prepares, collects, . . . reports, or publishes news or information,” and electronic coverage includes using “cellular phones with photographic or recording capabilities.”  Generally, electronic coverage of court proceedings, including the use of cameras and cellular phones, is prohibited unless the news reporter obtains express permission from the judge.  There is a presumption that all court proceedings open to the public are subject to electronic coverage.  
 
To cover court proceedings, a news reporter must obtain permission.  The reporter must submit a written request to cover at least 24 hours before the proceeding begins.  The judge will consider the following factors to determine whether to permit electronic coverage:  (1) the right to a fair trial, (2) the right of privacy, (3) the safety and well-being of parties and witnesses, (4) the likelihood that coverage will be a distraction and detract from the dignity of the court, (5) the physical facilities of the court for coverage, and (6) the fair administration of justice.  If the judge allows coverage, the judge may revoke the permission at any time.  
 
News reporters must designate a representative for the court to consult regarding coverage.  Only one camera person and one still photographer are allowed in a court proceeding, unless a judge specifically authorizes more news reporters to record the proceedings.  Likewise, only one audio system can be used.  News reporters are responsible for pooling; to be eligible to participate in the camera pool, the news reporter must obtain permission through the court.  News reporters in a pool should have equal access to data and share costs evenly.  The judge will determine the placement of cameras, but the rules require that the location of the camera must allow for “reasonable access to coverage.”      
 
News reporters may not deliberately photograph jurors, even though the rules recognize that it may be impossible to avoid photographing some jurors during some parts of proceedings.  In addition, news reporters may not cover privileged conferences.   Even though consent of participants is not required for coverage, the judge may prohibit the coverage of an individual who does not consent.  Recordings of court proceedings may not be used for advertising purposes.  
 
Unobtrusive electronic devices—like tape recorders, cell phones, PDAs, and laptops—may be allowed by the judge, however, these devices should be used for personal notetaking and not for broadcasting.  If a news reporter wants to use these other devices to record or broadcast, the reporter must obtain permission from the court in the same way the reporter would obtain permission for a traditional camera.  Electronic devices may be used to transmit and receive data communications, but may not be used for phone calls.    

Authority

Nevada Supreme Court Rules, Part IV:  Rules on Cameras and Electronic Media Coverage in the Courts (2012):  http://www.leg.state.nv.us/CourtRules/SCR.html

Other Links



New Hampshire

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

 
 Rule 19 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of New Hampshire permits coverage of the oral proceedings of the Supreme Court.  To record, photograph, or broadcast the oral proceedings of the Supreme Court, any person must give the court prior notice and must obtain the consent of the court.  A person covering the Supreme Court proceedings may not impair the order of the court.  No more than one still photographer and one videographer may cover a proceeding, and the court will determine the exact location of cameras and audio equipment.  People covering proceedings may use handheld tape recorders, but they must place the recorders in a specific location in the courtroom.   Generally, cell phones should be turned off or muted.  
 
Rule 78 of the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire permits any person to photograph, record, or broadcast Superior Court proceedings so long as that person provides advance notice.  Rule 78 specifies that a person does not have to be a member of the established media to cover proceedings.  Parties to court proceedings and interested parties may request that a court prohibits or limits coverage; in the event of such a request, the court will hold a hearing and the party seeking to prohibit or limit coverage must show:  “(1) that the relief sought advances an overriding public interest that is likely to be prejudiced if the relief is not granted; (2) that the relief sought is no broader than necessary  to protect that interest; and (3) that no reasonable less restrictive alternatives are available to protect the interest.”   The presiding judge retains authority to determine the number of recording devices and their placement in the court; the presiding judge may also require pooling.  Rule 78 sets forth a number of technical default rules, including a rule that prohibits flash devices and a rule that prohibits the disruptive dismantling of equipment during a proceeding; the presiding judge may alter these default rules.    
 
Rule 1.4 of the Rules of the Circuit Court of the State of New Hampshire—District Division permits any person to photograph, record, or broadcast District Court proceedings so long as that person provides advance notice.  Rule 1.4 is substantially similar to Rule 78, the rule that governs coverage of the Superior Court.  
 
Electronic devices, like laptops and cell phones, are permitted in New Hampshire courtrooms; however, cell phones must be put on silent mode.  In addition, audio recorders, video recorders, and still cameras, including those devices in cell phones, may be used, but must comply with Supreme Court Rule 19, Superior Court Rule 78, and District Court Rule 1.4.  
 
Authority

Order Concerning the Use of Electronic Devices:  http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orders/order011108.pdf
 
Rule 19New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules; Rule 78New Hampshire Superior Court Rules and Directory; Rule 1.4New Hampshire District and Municipal Court Rules.
 
Video Webcast

New Hampshire Supreme Court (http://www.courts.nh.gov/cstream/index.asp)


New Jersey
 

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

 
Canon 3A(9) of the New Jersey Code of Judicial Conduct exhorts judges to allow “bona fide media” to cover proceedings. To this end, the Supreme Court has issued a set of guidelines for media coverage, which grants judges some latitude in limiting coverage, especially where the coverage may result in a substantial likelihood of harm to a witness or party. Unlike other jurisdictions, the media are granted the right to appeal any order excluding or varying coverage. Photography of the jury is prohibited, and photography and audio recording is prohibited in certain types of proceedings, such as juvenile proceedings, proceedings to terminate parental rights, child abuse/neglect proceedings, custody proceedings, and “proceedings involving charges of sexual contact or charges of sexual penetration or attempts thereof when the victim is alive.” Photography and audio recordings of crime victims under the age of 18 or witnesses under the age of 14 may be permitted at the trial judge’s discretion. Additionally, while coverage of juvenile proceedings is usually forbidden, courts, in their discretion, may allow coverage of 17-year old defendants in proceedings involving motor vehicle violations. The media are responsible for pooling arrangements.
 
Authority
 
Other Links
 
Video Webcast:  New Jersey Supreme Court:  http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/webcast/index.htm

New Jersey Digital Legal Library:  http://njlegallib.rutgers.edu/supct/
 


New Mexico

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

 
Electronic coverage of proceedings in the state’s appellate and trial courts is permitted, although the judge may limit or deny coverage for good cause. The judge also has wide discretion to exclude coverage of certain types of witnesses, including, but not limited to, the victims of sex crimes and their families, police informants, undercover agents, relocated witnesses and juveniles. Filming of the jury or any juror is prohibited, as is filming of jury selection. Coverage of any attorney-client or attorney-court conferences is prohibited. Those wishing to cover a proceeding must notify the clerk of the particular court at least 24 hours in advance of the proceeding. Only one television camera and two still photographers, each with one camera are allowed in the courtroom at any one time, and any pooling arrangements are the responsibility of the media.
 
In 1982, the New Mexico Supreme Court set forth requirements for judges to follow before they can limit coverage in New Mexico courtrooms.  In State ex rel. New Mexico Press Association v. Kaufman, 648 P.2d 300 (N.M. 1982), the Supreme Court held:  
 
“Before placing restrictions on the media, some minimum form of notice should be given to the media and a hearing held. Anyone present should be given an opportunity to object.  These proceedings should take place in advance of the date set for trial, if possible, to avoid delays and postponements. . . . 
 
The court should weigh the competing interests of the defendant and the public and determine if the limitation sought would be effective in protecting the interests threatened and if it would be the least restrictive means available.  The court is charged with the duty of considering all reasonable alternatives to limiting media coverage. Its consideration of these issues should be articulated in oral or written findings and conclusions in the record, but formal findings, conclusions are not necessary.  The order must be no broader in application or duration than necessary to serve its purpose.”
 
Authority
 
New Mexico Supreme Court General Rules, Rule 23- 107:  http://www.conwaygreene.com/nmsu/lpext.dll/Infobase/2c16f/34e12/34e66?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_23-107

Other Links

Bench Bar Media Committee:  Reference Guide on Media Issues:  http://www.nmbar.org/Public/publicpubs/RefGuideMediaIssues.pdf

New York

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

 
Appellate Courts
Electronic photographic recording of proceedings in appellate courts is permitted, subject to the approval of the respective appellate court. Consent to coverage by parties or the attorneys is not required and any objections by attorneys or parties are limited to those showing good cause. Only two television cameras and two still photographers are allowed in the courtroom at any one time, and coverage is subject to various other technical conditions concerning media equipment.
The New York Court of Appeals provides live webcasts of oral arguments, with archives of selected arguments.
 
Trial Courts
Section 52 of the Civil Rights Law (“Section 52”) imposes a per se ban on all televising of trial court proceedings, no matter what the circumstances of the case or the assessment of the presiding judge. The statute became effective on July 1, 1997, when Section 218 of the Judiciary Law (“Section 218”) expired by operation of law. For all but one of the prior ten years, Section 218 had allowed, subject to specific limits in certain types of cases and with respect to certain trial participants, the televising of trials in New York State. In 1997, the Legislature failed to renew Section 218, resulting in the reimposition of Section 52, and thus barring extended coverage of trial proceedings. In response to the per se ban, a number of trial judges ruled Section 52 unconstitutional and permitted camera coverage. On June 16, 2005, however, the New York Court of Appeals effectively ended the debate by affirming a lower court’s holding that Section 52 is constitutional. Unless the Legislature enacts a statute overruling the Court of Appeals, cameras will not be allowed in trial court proceedings for the foreseeable future.

Authority

 Courtroom Tel. Network, LLC v. New York; New York Civil Rights Law § 52 (http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS) (trial court); 22 NYCRR §§ 29.1-29.2 (appellate court); NY CLS Standards & Administrative Policies § 131 (2000).

 
Video Webcast: New York Court of Appeals (http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/)


North Carolina

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

 
The rules for coverage require that the equipment and personnel used in coverage be neither seen nor heard by anyone inside the courtroom and that all personnel and equipment be located in an area set apart by a booth or partition with appropriate openings to allow photographic coverage. The presiding trial judge may permit coverage without booths, however, if coverage would not disrupt the proceedings or distract the jurors. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals may waive the booth requirements in proceedings in these courts. Hand-held audio tape recorders may be used upon prior notification to, and with the approval of, the presiding judge.
The rules do not require the consents of participants, but prohibit coverage of jurors. In addition, coverage of certain types of proceedings, such as adoption, divorce, juvenile proceedings, and trade secrets cases, is prohibited. Coverage of certain types of witnesses, such as police informants, undercover agents, victims of sex crimes and their families, and minor witnesses is also not permitted. Only two television cameras and one still photographer with no more than two cameras are allowed in the courtroom at any one time, and the media are responsible for any pooling arrangements.

Authority

Rule 15
, General Rules of Practice for the Superior and District Courts of North Carolina, North Carolina Rules of Court (2000).

Other Links


North Carolina Courts: Cameras in the Courtroom:  http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/CRS/Councils/Forum/Cameras.asp

Cameras in the Courtroom—The Basic Rules:  http://www.nccourts.org/courts/crs/councils/forum/documents/camerasincourtroom.doc