April 1 changes to Rule 4-401 affecting media in the courtroom

From: Nancy Volmer

Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 3:05 PM
Subject: April 1 changes to Rule 4-401 affecting media in the courtroom

Dear Media,

As many of you are aware, the Utah Judicial Council has approved a number of changes to Rule 4-401 to address media in the courtroom, which will go into effect on Monday, April 1, 2013.

There are two substantial changes to the rule that will impact the use of electronics in the courtroom. I’d like to cover a couple of the rule changes, but encourage you to read the attached copy of the rule for more detailed information.

According to the changes to the rule, the media may now request to video and audio record a court proceeding. Prior to the rule change, the media could request to have a still camera in a court proceeding. Now a TV station can request to have one video camera and a radio station can also request to have one audio recording in a proceeding. This is a pool arrangement as is currently done with print photographers. In addition, the presumption has changed, so judges must provide a reason if they decline the request for a still, video, or audio recording.

A new form has been developed to request to be pool for still, video, or audio. A copy of will be posted on the court’s website by April 1.

The second part of the rule change has to do with the use of portable electronic devices in the courtroom. The public will now be allowed to bring electronic devices into courthouses and courtrooms. They may not use the devices to record or transmit images or sound of court proceedings, unless they are media and have been approved by the judge in advance as pool.

This rule change substantially changes the way media can access the courts. We hope that by opening the courtroom to TV cameras, the public will have a better understanding of its court system.

Please contact me if you have questions.
Thank you, Nancy V.

Nancy Volmer
Utah State Courts
Public Information Office
(801) 578-3994
Cell: (801) 712-4545
Fax: (801) 578-3843

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