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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

PROCEDURAL RULES 1 TO 34

Rule 19. Media Access to Court Proceedings.


        Any person may record and photograph, or broadcast by radio or television, the oral proceedings of the supreme court that are open to the public, provided that the orderly procedures of the court are not impaired or interrupted.

(1) Prior Notice.  Members of the broadcast media who wish to cover a proceeding shall notify the court information officer as far in advance as is practicable.

With prior notice to the clerk, and the consent of the court, any person may record and photograph, or broadcast by radio or television, the oral proceedings of the supreme court, provided that the orderly procedures of the court are not impaired or interrupted.   

    (a) 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 court is in session.

    (b) 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 thirty (30) minutes prior to oral argument to begin setting up equipment.  All equipment must be in place and tested fifteen (15) minutes in advance of the time scheduled for the court session.  Equipment may not be adjusted or dismantled during the proceedings.

   (a) Exact locations for all video and still cameras, and audio equipment within the courtroom will be determined by the court information officer.  Movement in the courtroom is prohibited, unless specifically approved by the court information officer.

    (b) 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 specifically approved by the court. 

    (c) Handheld tape recording devices may be used but shall not be placed on the bar to the well of the courtroom.

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

(3) 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 specifically approved by the court information officer.  Exceptions may be made in case of inclement weather. 

   (a) Distribution of printed material, including pamphlets and flyers of any kind, is prohibited both in the courtroom and in the supreme court building.

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

    (c) All media personnel shall observe the customs of the court.

    (d) Appropriate dress is required. 

                                         Comment

Supreme Court Rule 19 provides generally that 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 the amended rule is to define that conduct which the court considers appropriate to avoid disruption of proceedings.  The rule is subject to orders of the court in particular cases. 

 

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