California Courts Newsroom
Cameras in the Courtroom
camera man

Under Rule 1.150, the "Cameras Rule", judges use discretion when allowing cameras and other recording devices into their courtroom. There is a process for media when making a request.

The media must use Form MC-500 and Form MC-510 to submit their request at least five court days before the portion of the proceeding to be covered begins. Often, if good cause is shown, a judge may accept the request with shorter notice. The court clerk must notify the judge that a request has been filed. If a judge has not been assigned, the request will be submitted to the judge supervising the calendar department.

Rule 1.150: 

• Leaves to judges’ the discretion to allow the use of cameras in all areas, including all pretrial hearings in criminal cases;

• Prohibits camera coverage of jury selection, jurors, and spectators in the courtroom;

• Lists 18 factors a judge must consider in ruling on a request for camera coverage— including the importance of maintaining public access to the courtroom, preserving the privacy rights of the participants in the proceedings, and the effect of camera coverage on counsel’s ability to select an unbiased jury;

• Continues to ban cameras at proceedings held in chambers or closed to the public; conferences between an attorney and a client, witness, or aide or between attorneys; and conferences between counsel and the judge at the bench; and

• Since Jan 1, 2006, includes new digital technologies, such as camera cell phones, in the restrictions on the use of photographing, recording, and broadcasting in state courtrooms and makes these technologies subject to a judicial order permitting their use.

Forms

 

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