GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 2012-8 - CELL PHONES AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES


IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

Except as noted below, all mobile computing and telecommunication devices including, but not limited to, cellular telephones, smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and other electronic devices capable of connecting to the Internet or making audio or video recordings are prohibited in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

The following are exempt from the above prohibition:

1. Persons at the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois, who may use the telephone, SMS (short message service) texting, instant messaging, email, and word processing functions of a cell phone or other electronic device only in the public areas of the courthouse outside the courtrooms, unless otherwise ordered by the trial judge presiding;

2. The following persons at other circuit court courthouse facilities, all of whom must have proper identification and be on official business in the courthouse:

a. current or former judges;

b. licensed attorneys;

c. members of the news media.  Upon approval by the Illinois Supreme Court of the Circuit Court of Cook County's application to participate in extended media coverage, approval by the trial judge presiding, and subject to denial or limitation by the chief circuit judge, pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Courts Policy for Extended Media Coverage in the Circuit Courts of Illinois, Ill. S. Ct., M.R.2634 (eff. Jan. 24, 2012), members of the news media may also use their electronic devices in the courtroom to communicate with news media colleagues, provided court is not in session.

d. local, state, and federal law enforcement officers;

e. employees of any local, state, or federal government agencies and/or offices;

f. any person reporting for jury duty pursuant to summons.  Individuals selected for jury service are also subject to the order(s) of the trial judge presiding, who may make orders as to the possession or use of electronic devices by potential or sworn jurors during trial sessions and deliberations.

g. building and maintenance tradespeople, equipment repair persons, and vendors with proper authorization for whom suchdevices are necessary in the performance of their job;

h. Any other person authorized by order of court to possess an electronic device as defined above.

The persons described above in section 2(a-h) may use the telephone, SMS (short message service) texting, instant messaging, email, and word processing functions of a cell phone or other electronic device only in the public areas of the courthouse outside the courtrooms, unless otherwise ordered by the trial judge presiding.

Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 63(A)(7), nothing in this order shall be interpreted to permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during sessions of the court or recesses between proceedings, or the broadcasting or televising of court proceedings unless authorized by order of the Supreme Court.

Any person in violation of this order may be subject to prosecution for contempt of court.  Nothing in this order shall be construed to infringe upon the authority of the Cook County Sheriff to deny access to any person in the interest of preserving public safety.

Dated this 11th day of December, 2012, effective January 14, 2013.  This order shall be spread upon the records of this court and published.

ENTERED:

Timothy C. Evans
Chief Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County