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Trial Court Policy on Possession & Use of Cameras & Personal Electronic Devices

Cell phones and other personal electronic devices are not banned from any courthouse.

Policy under Trial Court Administrative Order 21-1

It is hereby ORDERED pursuant to my authority as set forth in G.L. c. 211B, § 9, that the Trial Court Policy on Possession & Use of Cameras & Personal Electronic Devices, effective as of August 14, 2015 is RESCINDED.  Accordingly, cell phones and other personal electronic devices (PEDs)1  shall not be banned from any courthouse.  

Court visitors may use cell phones and other PEDs in the public areas of the courthouse, provided the activity does not disrupt or disturb court business or proceedings.  No cell phone, PED or camera may be used to take photographs or video in a courtroom, or anywhere else inside a courthouse, with the following exceptions:  (1) news media in accordance with Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:19: Electronic Access to the Courts; or (2) photographing or recording of court documents with permission of a judge, clerk, register, chief probation officer, or their designee. Cell phones, PEDs or cameras belonging to members of the public must be turned off or set to silent mode and stowed away prior to entering a courtroom. Counsel, court staff, and others conducting business before the court may use cell phones and PEDs in a courtroom with the consent of the presiding justice.

Violation of this Order may result in confiscation of the device for the duration of the court visit, or expulsion from the courthouse.

This order supersedes Trial Court Emergency Administrative Order 20-10:  Order Concerning Trial Court Policy on Possession & Use of Cell Phones & Personal Electronic Devices, and that Emergency Administrative Order is hereby RESCINDED, effective as of the date of this order.

Footnotes

A “personal electronic device” or “PED” is any device capable of communicating, transmitting, receiving, or recording messages, images, sounds, data, or other information by any means, including but not limited to a computer, tablet, cell phone, camera, or Bluetooth device.

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