GUIDELINES FOR MEDIA COVERAGE OF PROCEEDINGS AT THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SUPREME COURT

Effective June 6, 2002

Supreme Court Rule 19 provides generally that, with prior notice to the clerk, oral proceedings before the Court may be broadcast, recorded and photographed by members of the media; but the rule requires that such activities not impair or interrupt the orderly procedures of the Court. The purpose of these guidelines is to define that conduct which the Court considers appropriate to avoid disruption of proceedings:

(1) Prior Notice

Members of the broadcast media who wish to cover a proceeding are required to give reasonable notice to the Court Information Officer in advance of the court session. The Court Information Officer will notify the court clerk and court security of media coverage.

No more than one still photographer and one videographer may be in the courtroom at one time. Video equipment must remain stationary during the entire court session. Rotation of still photographers will be under the direction of the Court Information Officer who will minimize movement while the court is in session.

No person or organization will have exclusive access to a proceeding in the courtroom. The Court Information Officer will advise media outlets if pool coverage is necessary.

 

(2) Equipment

Broadcast media should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to oral argument to begin setting up equipment. All equipment MUST be in place and tested 15 minutes in advance of the time scheduled for the court session. Equipment may not be adjusted or dismantled during the proceedings.

Exact locations for all video and still cameras, and audio equipment within the courtroom shall be determined by the Court Information Officer. Movement in the courtroom is prohibited, unless otherwise approved by the Court Information Officer.

Video and photographic equipment must be of professional quality with minimal noise so as not to disrupt the proceedings; flash equipment and other supplemental lighting or sound equipment is prohibited unless otherwise approved by the Court.

Hand held tape recording devices may be used but shall not be placed on the bar to the well of the courtroom

Cellular telephones should be turned off or muted at all times.

 

(c) Courtroom Conduct

Broadcast or print interviews will not be permitted inside the courtroom or anywhere in the Supreme Court building either before or after oral argument unless otherwise approved by the Court Information Officer. Exceptions may be made in case of inclement weather.

Distribution of printed material, including pamphlets and flyers of any kind, is prohibited both in the courtroom and in the Supreme Court building.

Photographers, videographers and technical support staff covering a proceeding shall avoid activity that might distract participants or impair the dignity of the proceedings.

All media personnel shall observe the customs of the Court.

Appropriate dress is required.