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Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
603-271-2646 ext 2359


Procedures Approved to Streamline Coverage of Court Proceedings

New Registration Process for Use of Cameras and Audio Equipment


December 11, 2012---The New Hampshire Supreme Court has approved an annual registration process for news media organizations and individuals who regularly use video and audio equipment or still photography in the state courts. Currently, news media and others who want to use cameras or audio equipment in court must submit a separate request form to the court clerk for approval each time they want to attend a court proceeding.

The new registration process, which is optional, is designed to streamline the process for use of cameras or audio equipment to record court procedures. It was developed over the past year by the New Hampshire Committee on the Judiciary and the Media (CJM) whose members include judges, clerks, court security, broadcast and print journalists and media lawyers. The new process is effective effect January 1, 2013.

Guidelines for registration and the registration form are available on the Judicial Branch website. Registration opens today.

The registration process was approved for implementation by the Supreme Court in conjunction with rules that govern electronic coverage of court proceedings. (SEE Supreme Court Rule 19; Superior Court Rule 78 and Circuit Court District division Rule 1.4; Probate Division Rule 78 and Family Division Rule 1.29).

Under the new system, news media organizations and individuals who want to use cameras, either video or still, or audio equipment, and are registered will have access to courtrooms statewide provided they display to the courtroom security officer a registration confirmation form provided by the Judicial Branch Communications Office. The registration process does not impact existing court rules which give the presiding justice discretion to limit the number of cameras, recording devices and related equipment allowed in the courtroom at one time. In those cases, pool coverage may be required.

The names of all registered organizations and individuals will be posted on the Judicial Branch website. The definition of "news media" is set out in the registration guidelines.

Individuals or organizations that want to use still or video equipment, or audio recording devices in the courtroom but are not registered must first complete an audio/video/camera notification form and provide it to the clerk's office. The form must be approved by the presiding judge before that individual or organization will be permitted to use still or video or audio equipment in a state courtroom.

For further information, contact Laura Kiernan, Judicial Branch Communications Director at lkiernan@courts.state.nh.us.