For Immediate Release - August 13, 2012

News Media Registration Under SJC Rule 1:19 Now Available Online

The Supreme Judicial Court Public Information Office today announced the procedure for the news media registration under S.J.C Rule 1:19 governing electronic access to the courts.  Instructions, registration forms and other informational materials relative to the rule are now available on the Court's website at: News Media Registration Under SJC Rule 1:19 Registration begins today.  All registrants will be listed on the Public Information Office media registration web page.

According to the rule, "Registration shall be afforded to organizations that regularly gather, prepare, photograph, record, write, edit, report or publish news or information about matters of public interest for dissemination to the public in any medium, whether print or electronic, and to individuals who regularly perform a similar function, upon certification by the individuals that they perform such a role and that they will familiarize themselves or their representative, as the case may be, with the provisions of this rule and will comply with them."

A news media organization that meets the qualifications should have only one representative from that organization register with the Public Information Office. That person is responsible for ensuring that all other persons from that organization who cover the courts read the rule and comply in all respects with the rule's provisions.  News media individuals who are not affiliated with a news organization and who meet the rule's qualifications must register individually and also must agree to abide by the rule's provisions.

Once a news media organization or individual has registered, the Public Information Office will send a signed acknowledgment to the registrant. That acknowledgment form and a photo identification must be shown to court officials at a courthouse if electronic devices are to be brought into a courthouse or courtroom.  A news organization should make the acknowledgment form available to persons from that news organization who are covering a court proceeding. The form can be saved and downloaded on a mobile device or can be printed out in hard copy to show to court officials when bringing electronic devices into a courthouse.

Additionally, the news media must request permission to use a pool camera or electronic devices from the presiding judge in the courtroom where devices are to be used.  That permission should be requested from the judge or his or her designee before the court proceeding begins.

The amended S.J.C. Rule 1:19 is effective on September 17, 2012.