NJ Supreme Court Directive #11-20: Guidelines on Media Access and Electronic Devices in Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued new guidelines governing the use of electronic devices in and around courthouses. The Court stated that the reason for the new guidelines was to ensure that electronic devices do not “disrupt proceedings or compromise security, fairness to litigants, efficiency and/or appropriate courtroom decorum.”

In summary, the new guidelines set forth the following restrictions:

  1. All electronic devices must be turned off and maintained in silent mode prior to entering any courtroom.
  2. No one can use an electronic device to conduct phone conversations, take photos or videos or record audio in any court without obtaining prior court permission. Willful violations may subject the offending party to a contempt of Court ruling, imprisonment and fines.
  3. The use of any device may be subject to further restrictions by the court or law enforcement.
  4. Jurors must turn off all electronic devices.
  5. All persons are permitted to use electronic devices for any purpose in the common areas of a courthouse except to record or transmit photos, video and audio of court proceedings or court business.
  6. Any person who desires to record and transmit photos, video or audio of a court proceeding must request permission to do so from the court. To obtain permission, a court form entitled “Request for Permission to Photograph, Electronically Record or Broadcast a Court Proceeding” must be completed and submitted to the Trial Court Administrator. The court will decide whether to grant permission as soon as possible, and such permission may not be conditioned upon obtaining the consent of any party, a party’s attorney or any witness.
  7. Anyone whose request to record or transmit court proceedings was denied may move for leave to appeal the decision within three (3) business days.
  8. No electronic device recording may be used to challenge the accuracy of the official court record, but may be used as evidence in any separate proceeding at the discretion of the court.

NJ Supreme Court Directive #11-20 is attached here – [gview file=”https://vanarellilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Directive-11-20-Supreme-Court-Guidelines-on-Media-Access-and-Electronic-Devices-in-the-Courts-04-27-20.pdf”]

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