Public Information Officer
Phone: (239) 533-1723
Fax: (239) 533-1796
MEDIA COVERAGE OF COURT PROCEEDINGS
The Judges of the 20th Judicial Circuit recognize the benefits to the public in first-hand, accurate reporting of legal proceedings. The media is encouraged to report court proceedings, so long as the reporting does not unduly disrupt the proceedings.
The following policies apply to media coverage of court proceedings in the 20th Judicial Circuit including: Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties. These policies and rules as well as any orders issued by the presiding judge will be strictly enforced.
Rule 2.450 of the Rules of Judicial Administration, Technological Coverage of Judicial Proceedings (reprinted below) establishes the basic policies and procedures regarding media coverage of court proceedings in the 20th Judicial Circuit.
The Rule is more strict in some respects than our local practice. Most court proceeding are open to the public and therefore open to media representatives.
Some courtrooms are equipped with media rooms that will accommodate up to four (4) video cameras and or still photographers. A bailiff or representative of Court Administration will unlock the media room upon request.
If a courtroom or hearing room is not equipped with a media room then media representatives are asked to contact the Administrative Office of the Court in advance. Under the provisions of Rule 2.450 only one (1) television camera and one (1) still photographer are permitted in the courtroom or hearing room. Any pooling arrangements are to be made by the media representatives among themselves. If no agreement can be reached then the presiding judge may exclude all contesting media personnel.
In the case that a court proceeding is "High Profile" in nature, special rules and/or arrangements may be put in place for the duration of that proceeding. Media representative desiring to cover such events are asked to contact the Administrative Office of the Courts well in advance of the proceeding but not later than the day before the proceeding begins.
RULE 2.450. TECHNOLOGICAL COVERAGE OF JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS