RTDNA Cameras in the Courts: Federal
Federal Courts

Allows Cameras? No
Does Not Allow Cameras? No
Partial Allowance of Cameras? Yes

Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? No

In the Supreme Court of the United States, no photography is permitted inside the courtroom at any time.  Audio recordings of oral arguments are available online.

The United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit allows extended media coverage.  The media must make a request two business days in advance to the Clerk of Court.  The presiding panel has sole discretion to grant or prohibit camera coverage of any proceeding.

The United States Courts of Appeals for the Second Circuit allows limited extended media coverage.  Criminal matters may not be covered.  Additionally, pro se matters may not be covered.  Media must notify the court’s calendar clerk no later than two days before the day of the proceeding.  The presiding panel has sole discretion to grant or prohibit camera coverage of any proceeding.

Fourteen federal trial courts participated in the federal Judiciary’s digital video pilot beginning July 18, 2011.  The data collection portion of the pilot concluded July 18, 2015, however, participating courts may continue to record proceedings and post them until the Judicial Conference considers recommendations regarding the pilot at its March 2016 session.

Courts are limited to recording civil proceedings in which the parties have consented to recording.  Under Rule 53 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, photographing in the courtroom, as well as broadcasting of judicial proceedings is prohibited.  Federal bankruptcy courts are also excluded.  A judge can choose to stop a recording if it is necessary to protect the rights of the parties and witnesses, preserve the dignity of the court, or a judge may choose not to post a video recording for public view.  Coverage of jurors is prohibited.  Although the media may request that a proceeding be recorded, the media is not permitted to create recordings of courtroom proceedings.

This page updated May 2017