High court continues to allow cameras, recording devices at COA arguments

Cameras and other electronic devices may continue to be used in courtrooms for press coverage of Indiana Court of Appeals oral arguments, according to a Monday Indiana Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court, which typically authorizes the use of cameras and recording devices in Indiana courtrooms to celebrate National Adoption Day proceedings, signed off on camera coverage in the Indiana Court of Appeals in keeping with its “longstanding commitment to making appellate oral arguments easily viewed by the public and accessible to the press,” notwithstanding Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17 prohibitions.

Rule 2.17 holds that, “(e)xcept with prior approval of the Indiana Supreme Court, a judge shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent thereto during sessions of court or recession between sessions …,” with exceptions. Appellate arguments are generally streamed live on courts.in.gov.

Per the order, cameras and microphones may be used in any location whenever the three-judge appellate panel determines such devices will not result in any negative effect on the proceedings. With the court’s permission, requests may be granted to allow no more than two television news cameras and two still cameras if the argument is held outside of the Indiana Statehouse.

If COA arguments are hosted in the Supreme Court courtroom, no more than two still photographers will be permitted in the courtroom, and an audio/video feed of oral arguments will be presented to the media in a designated area outside the courtroom, according to the order. All recording equipment must be in place 30 minutes prior to argument start times, the order states.

“Nothing in this order is intended to restrict any pre-existing right of the news media to appear at and report on any judicial proceedings, in accordance with law,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush wrote for the high court.

Additional requirements in the Standards Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography at Oral Arguments in the Court of Appeals of Indiana order can be found here. 

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