Part 4.00 Media

1-4.01 Photography, Radio, Television, Audio Recording Devices and Cellular Telephones
1-4.02 Extended Media Coverage


1-4.01 Photography, Radio, Television, Audio Recording Devices and Cellular Telephones


A. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 63A(8), the taking of photographs in the courtroom during sessions of court or recesses between proceedings, and the videotaping, audio recording, transmitting, broadcasting or the televising of proceedings, is permitted only to the extent authorized by this Rule and/or LCR 1-4.02. Photography, videotaping, audio recording, transmitting, broadcasting or televising of circuit court proceedings is otherwise prohibited.

B. The photography, videotaping, audio recording, transmitting, televising or broadcasting of events and activities in a courtroom or its environs is also prohibited unless expressly authorized by this Rule and/or LCR 1-4.02. For the purpose of this Rule, the use of the terms “photographs, videotaping, audio recording, transmitting, televising or broadcasting” includes audio or video transmissions or recordings made by cell phones, personal data assistants, laptop computers, and other data transmission and recording devices.

C. Photographs, videotapes, audio recordings, and transmitting, including broadcasting or televising of non-judicial events and activities, or of judicial personnel, or facilities, may be authorized by the Court for educational, instructional, informational or ceremonial purposes, provided that Court is not in session during such photographing, videotaping, audio recording, transmitting, broadcasting, or televising. Such non-judicial events and activities would include: weddings, bar association activities, induction ceremonies, award ceremonies, dedication ceremonies, mock trials, seminars, speeches, demonstrations, training sessions, journalistic undertakings, public awareness activities, and similar events and activities.

D. Micro cassette recorders or handheld dictating devices may be used in the public hallways or conference rooms adjacent to said hallways, provided that such use does not interfere with the use of said premises by others present. Any such micro cassette recorders or handheld dictating devices brought into a courtroom must be turned to the “off” position and kept enclosed in a briefcase or similar container. In the event that a person possessing such a device enters a private hallway, anteroom or Judge’s chambers, such device must first be given to the court officer in charge of said courtroom.

E. Photographing or recording via wireless communication devices that have the capability of recording and/or transmitting sound, pictures and video, such as, but not limited to, cell phones, camera phones, personal data assistants (PDAs), notebook computers, and laptop computers in the courtroom or its environs is prohibited unless expressly waived by the Court. Notwithstanding the foregoing, attorneys, court employees, including but not limited to probation and detention officers, and Sheriff’s personnel may use the device in the courtroom for non-verbal communication such as texting or conducting electronic legal research. Any wireless communication device brought into the courtroom or its environs must be in the “silent” mode.

F. Voice communication via wireless telephone is allowed only in the public hallways and conference rooms adjacent to said hallways, provided that such use does not interfere with the use of said premises by others present.

G. Tape recording by an official court reporter or court authorized court reporter in the courtroom or its environs is permitted.

H. The word “environs” includes the private and public hallways, rooms immediately adjacent to said hallways and to the courtroom, and the jury assembly/deliberation rooms; and it shall be understood that, in the interest of a fair trial, the Court may expand the area of environs in a written Order.

I. When the nature of a case, or the nature of the media coverage of a case, requires, the Court, on Motion of either party, or on its own Motion, may issue an Order governing such matters as extra-judicial statements by parties and witnesses which might interfere with the rights of the accused to a fair trial by an impartial jury, the seating and conduct in the courtroom and spectators and news media representatives, the management and sequestration of jurors and witnesses, and any other matters which the Court may deem appropriate for inclusion in such an Order.

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1-4.02 Extended Media Coverage


A. Extended media coverage in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit is permitted in accordance with the provisions contained in Illinois Supreme Court Order M.R. 2634 and the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Courts of Illinois.

News media organizations shall comply with the Rules regarding the general use of cellular phones and other electronic devices within the courtrooms and outside of the courtrooms, but still within the confines of the courthouse. Nothing in this Rule shall limit or restrict the power, authority or responsibility otherwise vested in the Chief Judge of the Circuit; and the Judge presiding to: control the conduct of any proceeding; maintain decorum and prevent distractions; guarantee the safety of the courtroom, including any party, witness, or juror; and ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice in the pending cause.

B. Media Coordinator and Court Media Liaison

1. Media Coordinator. A single representative acting on behalf of all news media organizations shall be selected to organize and submit requests for extended media coverage and administer all aspects of extended media coverage for the news media. The Media Coordinator shall be selected by and among representatives of the news media and shall be approved by the Chief Judge.

2. Court Media Liaison. A representative from Court Administration shall serve as the Court Media Liaison. The Court Media Liaison is responsible to the Court and shall work with the Media Coordinator on all matters pertaining to extended media coverage. The Media Liaison may consult with the Trial Judge regarding any questions or concerns from the media and may direct the media consistent with the rulings of the Trial Judge regarding extended media coverage of any case. The Trial Judge may direct the Media Liaison to convey any changes or alterations to the Order entered in the case to interested individuals or organizations.

C. Requests, Objections and Orders

1. Notice of Requests for Extended Media Coverage. Notices for Requests for Extended Media Coverage shall be filed with the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The form for filing a Request for Extended Media Coverage shall be as prescribed in Appendix “A.”

2. Notices of Requests for Extended Media Coverage. The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall send a written Notice and copy of the Request for Extended Media Coverage to the following persons:

a. Attorneys of Record;

b. Self-represented litigants;

c. The Court Media Liaison;

d. The Judge presiding over the case for which extended media coverage is sought;

e. The Chief Judge.

The form of the Notice to be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall be as prescribed in Appendix “C.”
The Notice and copy of the Request shall be sent by first class mail or facsimile transmission or delivered by personal service, no later than the close of business on the day following the filing of the Request. The Chief Judge may order alternate means of service, such as electronic mail, for persons identified in Sections C through E of this Rule.

3. Objections by Parties. The form for a party to object to extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in Appendix “D.”

4. Objections by Witnesses. All witnesses shall be notified by counsel proposing to introduce testimony from a witness of their right to object to extended media coverage. Notification shall be provided by using the form as prescribed in Appendix “‘E,” or a substantially similar form. Objections by witnesses shall be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court prior to the commencement of the proceeding. Any objecting witness shall file his or her objection using the form as prescribed in Appendix “F,” or a substantially similar form. Counsel shall file proof that Notice was provided to the witness(es) each counsel intends to call at trial.

5. Notice of Objections. The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall provide written Notice of all filed objections to extended media coverage to the persons designated in Section (C)(2) and to the Media Coordinator.

6. Written Orders. The Judge shall enter a written Order on all requests for extended media coverage specifying the scope of coverage permitted. An Order for extended media coverage shall be effective for all subsequent proceedings until the conclusion of the involved case(s) or as otherwise ordered by the Court and subject to ruling on any filed objections. The form of an Order for Extended Media Coverage shall be as prescribed in Appendix “B.”

7. Timeframe for Request and Objections. Calendar days shall be used for the purpose of calculating the timeframes for the filing of requests and objections.

8. Certain Trial Proceedings Prohibited from Extended Media Coverage. Extended media coverage is prohibited in any court proceeding required under Illinois law to be held in private. No coverage shall be permitted in any juvenile, dissolution, adoption, child custody, evidence suppression or trade secret cases. Extended media coverage is also prohibited as to evidentiary pre-trial motions, including Motions in Limine and in all Specialty Court proceedings including drug court, veteran’s court and mental health court due to the sensitive nature of these proceedings unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

D. Equipment and Courtroom Conduct

1. Enhanced Microphones. Parabolic or other highly sensitive long range microphones are prohibited.

2. Assigned Locations. The Court, in consultation with the Court’s Court Media Liaison or designee will direct the news media to their assigned spot(s). Still photographers and videographers must stay seated unless they are positioned beyond the last row of spectator seats.

3. Decorum. In the courtroom, members of the news media shall:

a. Not make comments in the courtroom during court proceedings;

b. Not comment to or within hearing of the jury or any member thereof at any time before the jury is dismissed;

c. Not conduct interviews in the courtroom; and

d. Comply with the Orders and directives of the Court.

4. Prohibition on Certain Materials. Focusing on and photographing of materials on counsel tables, materials on evidence carts, or materials that have not yet been presented as evidence is prohibited.

E. General Provisions

1. Temporary and Permanent Installations. The Judge may order the news media to install any manner of temporary courtroom alterations including, but not limited, to a screen or divider to conceal the jury from the view of recording equipment. No permanent installation of any audio or visual recording equipment shall be made nor shall any court facility be altered, unless approved in advance by the Chief Judge. All expenses for permanent or temporary installations shall be borne by the news media.

2. Sub-contracting and Assignment. Permission for extended media coverage shall not be sub-contracted or assigned.

3. Non-exclusivity. This Rule shall not preclude coverage of a judicial proceeding by other members of the news media who have not been granted permission for extended media coverage.

4. Courthouse Security. Court security policies require all persons and equipment entering the courthouse to pass through a magnetometer. News media representatives will not be permitted to bypass screening and should allow sufficient time to get through the magnetometer in advance of the commencement of proceedings.

5. Inadmissibility in Proceedings. Film, videotape, photograph and audio reproductions obtained by and through extended media coverage shall not affect the official court record of the proceeding for purposes of appeal or otherwise. Nor shall the same be admissible as evidence in the proceeding out of which it arose or in any proceeding subsequent or collateral thereto.

6. Knowledge of Plan Provisions. The Media Coordinator is charged with actual and constructive knowledge of the provisions contained within the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Courts of Illinois and this Rule. By the submission of a Request for Extended Media Coverage, the Media Coordinator, respective agents from involved news media organizations and designees of such, acknowledge and agree to abide by all applicable provisions.

7. Sanctions. In addition to contempt and any other sanctions allowed by law, the Judge or Chief Judge may remove anyone violating the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Courts of Illinois or this Rule from the courtroom and revoke the privileges for extended media coverage.

8. Revocation of Permission. If the Media Coordinator or any media representative fails to comply with the conditions set forth in the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Courts of Illinois, this Rule or other Orders imposed by the Judge or Chief Judge, the Judge or Chief Judge may impose restrictions on the dissemination, broadcast and/or publication of extended media coverage.

Appendix A: Request for Extended Media Coverage (PDF)
Appendix B: Order on Request for Extended Media Coverage (PDF)
Appendix C: Notice of Filing Request for Extended Media Coverage clerk (PDF)
Appendix D: Objection of Party to Extended Media Coverage of Testimony (PDF)
Appendix E: Notice of Filing Request for Extended Media Coverage attorney (PDF)
Appendix F: Objection of Witness to Extended Media Coverage of Testimony (PDF)

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