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Appeals Court Policy for News Media Access to the Courtroom

This policy governs requests for electronic access to the courtroom by the news media during oral arguments and other hearings at the Appeals Court.

The following policy governs electronic access by the news media to the courtroom during panel sittings or single justice hearings at the Appeals Court.  The policy is designed to balance the need to provide access to the courtroom with the desire to maintain the appropriate decorum in the courtroom.  The policy is to be read in conjunction with Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:19, as amended, 461 Mass. 1301 (2012) ("Rule 1:19"). 

News media registered with the Public Information Office seeking electronic access to the courtroom must make a request to the Clerk of the Appeals Court.  In the case of panel sittings, any request should be made prior to 4:00 P.M. on the day before oral argument and must be made prior to 9:00 A.M. on the day of oral argument.  Requests seeking electronic access to the courtroom for a single justice hearing must make the request reasonably in advance of the hearing.  The Clerk will bring any request to the attention of the Justice(s) presiding over the case of interest for determination in accordance with Rule 1:19

The Justice(s) may impose further restrictions on electronic access to the courtroom by the news media consistent with Rule 1:19.  Those restrictions include, but are not limited to, designating permissible camera locations and limiting the permissible number of recording devices.  Assembly, movement, or disassembly of equipment is not permitted during a court session and must be completed prior to the session, during the morning break, or after the conclusion of a session. 

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