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The New Hampshire Supreme Court has approved a registration process for news media organizations and individuals who regularly use video and audio equipment or still photography in the state courts.
The registration process, which is best done in advance, is designed to streamline the process for use of cameras or audio equipment to record court procedures. It was developed 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 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 Superior Court Civil Rule 204 ; and Circuit Court District Division Rule 1.4; Probate Division Rule 78 and Family Division Rule 1.29).
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 are posted on the Judicial Branch website. The definition of "news media" is set out in the registration guidelines.
Individuals or organizations that are not registered, but want to use still, video or audio recording equipment in a courtroom on the day the proceedings they are interested in covering are held, must first complete an audio/video/camera notification form and provide it to the clerk's office located at the court where the proceedings will be held. 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 Carole Alfano, Judicial Branch Communications Manager at CAlfano@courts.state.nh.us.