Effective Date: 1/1/2001

Purpose. The purpose of this policy to implement Administrative Rule 21 NDRPR by establishing guidelines for media coverage of judicial proceedings held in the ten counties of the Southeast Judicial District. The policy is applicable to all judicial proceedings in district and juvenile courts of the Southeast Judicial District but does not include interviews of judges or judicial personnel when not involving specific judicial proceedings.

The affected counties are:

Barnes, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, LaMoure, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Stutsman, and Wells.

Administrative Rule 21 NDRPR provides in Section B that judges of district, county, and municipal courts "shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent thereto during sessions of court or recesses between sessions." The limitations of media coverage of judicial proceedings provided in Administrative Rule 21 are consistent with the limitations set forth in Rule 53 of the North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rule 10.1 of the North Dakota Rules of Court.

The following procedures provide the framework for media coverage while assuring the dignity of judicial proceedings. They are not intended to limit expanded media coverage as provided by Administrative Rule 21E NDRPR as amended May 25, 1988.


A. To assure that judicial proceedings are not disrupted, in all proceedings except those in which coverage has been granted pursuant to Administrative Rule 21E, representatives shall confine camera and audio media coverage to the main lobby, first floor of the courthouses and all other buildings in which courtrooms are used for judicial proceedings of the Southeast Judicial District and juvenile courts. Cameras and audio recorders are not allowed beyond the first floor main lobby area of any courthouse or any other building in which courtrooms are used for judicial proceedings for specific coverage during any judicial proceeding except as expressly designated under Administrative Rule 21. Audio and video interviews of trial participants during any judicial proceeding are limited to this area.

B. Media representatives may contact, in writing, the Clerk of the District Court at least 48 hours in advance of the judicial proceeding as to the availability of a specific interview room or area for use by media representatives.

C. Exceptions to this policy will be limited to those set forth in Section B, Administrative Rule 21. Any request for an exception to this policy shall be in writing and directed to the judge presiding over the specific proceeding which is the subject of potential video and audio coverage at least 48 hours in advance of the judicial proceeding. The request shall outline:

(1) the exception requested;
(2) the title of the action for which coverage is requested;
(3) the names of the agency and media personnel who will be operating the equipment and providing coverage;
(4) the name, address and telephone number of the supervising representative of the requesting agency;
(5) the type and amount of equipment to be used; and
(6) the duration and type of coverage being requested.

In the event that an exception is granted, no coverage of other judicial proceedings which may precede or follow the specific proceeding for which coverage is granted under this section shall be allowed.

Policy Review. This policy shall be reviewed by the Southeast Judicial District Advisory Committee on Local Court Rules every two years and at such other times as referred to the Committee for comment. Suggestions for revisions should be addressed to the Presiding Judge of the Southeast Judicial District who shall forward the suggestions to the Committee.

Summary. This policy assures that media representatives shall be allowed general coverage of judicial proceedings and, at the same time, assures the dignity of participants involved in judicial proceedings in the Southeast Judicial District.

CROSS REFERENCE: See Effective Term of Local Court Rule, 10, ND Local Ct R.

Effective Date Obsolete Date
01/01/2001 View