March 16, 2012

A sign detailing the Trial Court policy regarding the use of cameras in courthouses by the general public has been developed and will be posted by Security beginning March 19th.

The Trial Court decided to post the policy as a result of the proliferation of electronic devices with camera capability and a number of court proceedings impacted by inappropriate camera use.

The sign specifies that the use of any camera, including those in cell phones, tablets, or other electronic devices, is prohibited inside a courthouse.  It also indicates that cell phones must be turned off inside a courtroom.

Court officers working in concert with the presiding judge may determine a need to confiscate a device that is used in violation of this policy, and to require removal of the party from the courtroom or courthouse.

The Supreme Judicial Court recently updated Rule1:19 to address the issue of electronic access to the courts for the news media.  The new rule, which becomes effective on July 1, 2012, will allow news media to register with the Public Information Office in order to use electronic devices in the courtroom.