GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2014-12 EXTENDED MEDIA COVERAGE


IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2014-12

SUBJECT:  EXTENDED MEDIA COVERAGE

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Court’s order authorizing Extended Media Coverage In the Circuit Courts of Illinois on an Experimental Basis, M.R. 2634 (eff. Jan. 24, 2013) (“Policy”), the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court to permit extended media coverage as a pilot project on an experimental basis,

 

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, effective Monday, January 5, 2015 and until further order of this Court, that extended media coverage shall be permitted in the Criminal Division courtrooms located in the George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building, 2600 South California Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60608, in accordance with the provisions set forth in this order and the Policy. Such extended media coverage shall only be allowed in cases in which the chief judge and the assigned judge authorize such coverage, and it may be terminated at any time in the sole discretion of the chief judge or the assigned judge.  Neither the chief judge’s decision nor the assigned judge’s decision is appealable.

 

A.     These local provisions shall govern the procedure in the Circuit Court of Cook County in all proceedings except where provision for a different procedure is specifically provided by the Policy, and they shall be construed so as to not conflict with the Policy or this Court’s General Administrative Order 2013-01 (eff. April 15, 2013) (Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices), which sets forth this Court’s general policy on the use of electronic devices in courthouse facilities.  Section headings contained herein shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify, or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any section of this order.  Nothing in this order shall preclude coverage of a judicial proceeding by other members of the news media who have not been granted permission for extended media coverage, nor shall it limit or restrict the power, authority, or responsibility otherwise vested in the chief circuit judge and the judge presiding to:

1.      control the conduct of any proceeding;

2.      maintain decorum and prevent distractions;

3.      guarantee the safety of the courtroom, including any party, witness, or juror; and

4.      ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice in the pending proceeding.

 

B.     Media representatives, including, but not limited to, media coordinators and operators of media equipment,  providing coverage pursuant to this order shall be presumed to have actual or constructive knowledge of the provisions of the Policy, Cook Co. Cir. Ct. G.A.O. 2013-01 (eff. April 15, 2013), and this order and to have agreed to abide by their provisions .

 

C.      Definitions.

1.      "Chief judge" means the chief circuit judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

2.      “Clerk” means the circuit clerk, also known as the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County or the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

3.      “Day” means calendar day.

4.      "Extended media coverage" means any media recording or broadcasting of proceedings by the use of television, radio, photographic, or recording equipment for the purpose of gathering and disseminating news to the public.

5.      "Judge" means the circuit or associate judge presiding in a trial court proceeding.

6.      "Judicial proceedings" or "proceedings" includes all public trials, hearings, or other proceedings of this court when extended media coverage is requested, except those specifically excluded by the Policy.

7.        “Media coordinator” means a representative or representatives acting on behalf of all news media organizations, who 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.

8.      “Court media liaison” means a person or persons designated by the chief judge to work with the media coordinator on all matters pertaining to extended media coverage.

9.      "News media", in general, means established news gathering and reporting agencies and their representatives whose function is to inform the public. All news media representatives, including, but not limited to, media coordinators, photographers, and operators of audio equipment shall have and produce on request by the sheriff, judge, or media liaison valid media credentials approved by the sheriff of Cook County.

10. “Photographer” means a person operating a still camera, television camera, or other related or similar equipment.

 

D.     Requests, Objections, and Orders.

1.      Requests for extended media coverage.  Requests for extended media coverage shall be filed with the clerk under the case number of the case for which extended media coverage is requested.  The clerk may permit the media coordinator to fax, email, or electronically file the request.  The form of a request for extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in section F(8) of this order.

2.      Notice of Requests.  The court media liaison shall provide written notice of all filed requests for extended media coverage to all counsel currently of record, parties appearing without counsel, the judge, and the chief judge.  The court shall schedule the matter as soon as is practical.

3.      Objections by Parties.  Objections by parties shall be filed with the clerk under the case number of the case for which extended media coverage has been requested and within the time periods provided in the Policy. The form of a party’s objection to extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in section K(10) of this order.

4.      Objections by Witnesses.  At least seven (7) days before commencement of the proceeding, all witnesses shall be advised by counsel proposing to introduce their testimony of their right to object to extended media coverage. Objections by witnesses shall be filed with the clerk under the case number of the case for which extended media coverage has been requested and at least three (3) days before commencement of the proceeding.  The form of a witness’s objection to extended media coverage shall be as prescribed in section K(10) of this order.

5.      Notice of Objections.  Parties appearing without counsel and witnesses shall be entitled to the assistance of the circuit clerk in providing copies of their objections to extended media coverage to all counsel currently of record, parties appearing without counsel, the media coordinator, the judge, and the court media liaison.  Upon request of a party appearing without counsel or a witness, the circuit clerk shall give notice of the objection to extended media coverage to all counsel currently of record, parties appearing without counsel, the media coordinator, the judge, and the court media liaison.  Upon receipt of an objection to extended media coverage, the court media liaison shall inform the judge and the chief judge.  The clerk shall not assess any non-party witness any fee for providing the above assistance.  The clerk may petition the court to order one or more parties to a proceeding to pay to the clerk the clerk’s costs of mailing witness objections.

6.      Written Orders.  The 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 section K(10) of this order.

7.      Time of Request, Objection, and Notice.  Calendar days shall be used for the purpose of calculating the deadlines provided in the Policy and this order for the filing of requests and objections and the service of notice.

 

E.      Equipment and Courtroom Conduct.

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

2.      Assigned Locations.  The judge, court media liaison, or judge’s designee will direct the news media to their assigned place(s). 

3.      Decorum.  Members of the news media shall comply with the orders and directives of the judge and shall not engage in the following conduct:

a)     making comments in the courtroom during court proceedings;

b)     commenting to or within the hearing of any member of the jury, including alternate jurors, at any time before the jury is dismissed;

c)      conducting interviews in the courtroom; and

d)     recording or transmitting images of the following, unless they have been admitted into evidence:

i.         materials on counsel tables

ii.       materials on evidence carts

 

F.      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 video 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.      Courthouse Security.  Court security policies require all persons and equipment entering the courthouse to submit to the sheriff’s security procedures.  Consent to provide extended media coverage does not include consent for news media representatives to bypass security procedures.  News media representatives must allow sufficient time to complete security procedures before commencement of the proceedings. Judicial proceedings may not be interrupted to allow installation of media equipment or positioning of personnel.

4.      Inadmissibility in Proceedings.  Neither visual nor audio reproductions, whether in digital, videotape, audiotape, conventional film, or other format, obtained by or through extended media coverage shall constitute evidence or any other part of the official court record of the proceeding for purposes of that proceeding, any related subsequent proceedings, whether supplemental or collateral, or for purposes of appeal or otherwise.

5.      Sanctions.  The sanctions that may be imposed by the judge or chief judge upon any news media representative or agency found to have violated the Policy or this order include, but are not limited to, revocation of consent to provide extended media coverage, sanctions allowed for contempt, and any other sanctions authorized by law.

6.      Revocation of Permission.  If the media coordinator or any media representative fails to comply with the conditions set forth in the Policy, this order, or other orders of the judge or chief judge, the judge or chief judge may impose restrictions on the dissemination, broadcast, or publication of extended media coverage.

7.      Pilot Project.  This order establishes a pilot project and is subject to revision or termination at any time and without advanced notice.

8.      Official Forms.  Whenever one of the following forms is applicable to extended media coverage, it shall be used.  If the official form does not allow the relevant issues to be completely addressed, they may be additionally addressed in supplemental documents incorporated by reference on the official form and attached and made a part of the official form.

a)     Request for Extended Media Coverage

b)     Order on Request for Extended Media Coverage

c)      Objection by Party to Extended Media Coverage

d)     Objection by Witness to Extended Media Coverage of Testimony

 

Dated: December 16, 2014

 

Enter:

 

 

________________________

 

Timothy C. Evans

Chief Judge

Circuit Court of Cook County

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