ARTICLE 38: EXTENDED MEDIA COVERAGE
(a) The 18th Judicial Circuit Court has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court to permit extended media coverage on an experimental basis 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. Such extended media coverage shall only be allowed in cases in which the assigned judge, in his or her sole discretion, authorizes such coverage. The extended media coverage may be terminated at any time in the sole discretion of the assigned judge. Pursuant to the above Supreme Court Order, the judge’s decision is not appealable.
(b) These local rules shall be construed so as not to conflict with the Illinois Supreme Court Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Courts of Illinois. It remains requisite for the news media organizations to be familiar with the rules regarding the general use of cellular phones and other electronic devices within the courtrooms and outside of the courtroom, but still within the confines of the courthouse.
(c) Media Coordinator and Court Media Liaison
1. A representative or 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. The Chief Judge may at his or her discretion appoint a media coordinator in the event the various news media cannot agree on a media coordinator.
2. The Court Administrator, or his or her designee, shall serve as the court media liaison. The court media liaison shall work with the media coordinator on all matters pertaining to extended media coverage.
(d) Requests, Objections and Orders
1. Requests for extended media coverage shall be filed in the Office of the Circuit Clerk of the 18th Judicial Circuit under the case number of the case for which extended media coverage is requested. All subsequent requests or objections shall be filed in the same manner. The Clerk of the Court may coordinate with the designated media coordinator for an electronic filing of the request by means of e-mail or facsimile. The form of a request for extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in “Appendix 1”.
2. Notice of Requests. The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall provide written notice of all filed requests for extended media coverage to all counsel of record, parties appearing without counsel, and the court media liaison. The media coordinator shall provide a copy of all filed requests for extended media coverage to the court media liaison. Upon receipt of a request for extended media coverage, the court media liaison shall inform the judge to whom the subject case is assigned and the Chief Judge. The Clerk of the Court shall schedule the matter before the court as soon as practical.
(e) Objections by Parties shall be filed in the Office of the Circuit Clerk of the 18th Judicial Circuit. The form of a party’s objection to extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in “Appendix 2”.
(f) Objections by Witnesses shall be filed in the Office of the Circuit Clerk of the 18th Judicial Circuit. The form of a witness’s objection to extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in “Appendix 3”.
(g) The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall provide written notice of all filed objections to extended media coverage to all counsel of record, parties appearing without counsel, the media coordinator and the court media liaison. Upon receipt of an objection to extended media coverage, the court media liaison shall inform the judge to whom the case is assigned and the Chief Judge.
(h) The assigned judge shall enter a written order on all requests for extended media coverage specifying the scope of coverage, if any, permitted. An order for extended media coverage shall be effective for only the proceedings specified in the written order. The form of an order for extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in “Appendix 4”.
(i) Calendar days shall be used for the purpose of calculating the time frames for the filing of requests and objections contained in the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in the Circuit Court of Illinois.
(j) Equipment and Courtroom Conduct
1. Parabolic or other highly sensitive long range microphones are prohibited.
2. The court media liaison or designee will direct the news media to their assigned locations. Still photographers and videographers must stay seated unless they are positioned beyond the last row of spectator’s seats.
3. In the courtroom, members of the news media shall:
a. Refrain from making comments in the courtroom during court proceedings;
b. Refrain from commenting to or within the hearing of the jury or any member thereof at any time before the jury is dismissed.
c. Refrain from conducting interviews in the courtroom; and
d. Comply with the orders and directives of the court.
4. Focusing on and photographing materials on counsel tables, materials on evidence carts, or materials that have not yet been presented as evidence is prohibited.
(k) General Provisions
1. 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. If permission for extended media coverage is granted, all non-testimonial hearings shall be in the courtroom to which the case is assigned. Any testimonial hearing or trial shall be heard in courtroom 4000.
3. Permission for extended media coverage shall not be sub-contracted or assigned.
4. These guidelines 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.
5. Courthouse 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 go through the magnetometer in advance of the commencement of proceedings. Court proceedings may not be interrupted to allow installation of media equipment or personnel.
6. Film, videotape, photography and audio reproductions obtained by and through extended media coverage shall not affect the official court record of the proceeding for the 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.
7. The media coordinator and all media representatives and personnel are charged with the actual and constructive knowledge of the provisions contained in the Policy for Extended Media Coverage in Circuit Court 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 Court 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.
10. This rule is promulgated as a pilot project in accordance with the Illinois Supreme Court Order M.R. 2634. This rule is subject to revision or termination at any time and without advanced notice.