Cameras and Recording in the Court

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Rule 1.150 of the California Rules of Court sets guidelines for judges to use when deciding if they will allow people to record or broadcast any court proceeding. The media are only allowed to cover a court proceeding if the judge approves. If you want to photograph, record, or broadcast any court proceeding, you must fill out and file Judicial Council form MC-500

When thinking about whether to allow someone to record or broadcast a court proceeding, the judge must consider:

  1. Importance of maintaining public trust and confidence in the judicial system;
  2. Importance of promoting public access to the judicial system;
  3. Parties' support of or opposition to the request;
  4. Nature of the case;
  5. Privacy rights of all participants in the proceeding, including witnesses, jurors,
    and victims;
  6. Effect on any minor who is a party, prospective witness, victim, or other participant in the proceeding;
  7. Effect on the parties' ability to select a fair and unbiased jury;
  8. Effect on any ongoing law enforcement activity in the case;
  9. Effect on any unresolved identification issues;
  10. Effect on any subsequent proceedings in the case;
  11. Effect of coverage on the willingness of witnesses to cooperate, including the risk that coverage will engender threats to the health or safety of any witness;
  12. Effect on excluded witnesses who would have access to the televised testimony of prior witnesses;
  13. Scope of the coverage and whether partial coverage might unfairly influence or distract the jury;
  14. Difficulty of jury selection if a mistrial is declared;
  15. Security and dignity of the court;
  16. Undue administrative or financial burden to the court or participants;
  17. Interference with neighboring courtrooms;
  18. Maintaining orderly conduct of the proceeding;
  19. Any other factor the judge deems relevant.



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