Guidelines for Use of Cameras and Audio Equipment
The following definitions and guidelines apply to the use of cameras and audio equipment in New Hampshire Courts:
“News Media” Defined
“News media” are defined as established organizations, or individuals, that regularly gather, report, edit, broadcast and publish news or matters of public interest, either in print or electronically.
The definition of “news media” includes Internet-based “new media” that regularly update content. The definition does not include personal blogs or websites. It is the responsibility of online organizations to demonstrate that they meet the definition of “new media.”
The determination of whether an organization or individual meets the definition of “news media” will be made by the Judicial Branch Administrative Council and the Judicial Branch Communications Manager.
The registration process for news media is intended to streamline procedures for news media organizations and individuals who regularly use video and audio equipment or still photography in the state courts to record court proceedings.
Only one representative of a news organization needs to register. The names of all registered organizations and individuals are posted on the Judicial Branch website at Registered News Organizations.
Individuals or organizations that want to use still or video equipment in the courtroom, or audio recording devices, but are either not registered or do not meet the definition of news media, must first complete an audio/video/camera notification (one day) form and provide it to the clerk of that court. The form must be approved by the presiding judge before that individual or organization will be permitted to use still or video equipment in the courtroom. (see S.C. Rule 78(c) and related Circuit Court Rules).
Media Access to Courtrooms
All representatives of registered news organizations, and registered individuals, will have access to courtrooms statewide but must check in at the clerk’s office to give the court notice of their intent to record or photograph all or part of that day’s proceedings.
Media Access to Webex Hearings
Some proceedings are now being held via videoconference. To request access to these hearing: See Media Access to WebEx Court Proceedings
Judges’ Discretion Concerning News Media
The registration process does not impact existing court rules which give the presiding judge 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 presiding judge retains discretion to deny permission to video, photograph or otherwise record court proceedings to any organization or individual whose conduct has previously disrupted court proceedings. All media representatives that cover court proceedings should be familiar with court rules that govern the use of cameras and audio equipment in courtrooms. (SEE Supreme Court Rule 19; Superior Court Rule 204; District Division Rule 1.4 ; Probate Division Rule 78; and Family Division Rule 1.29).
(Effective Date: August 26, 2021)