Mississippi Supreme Court amends camera coverage rules
The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday, Dec. 9, amended court rules for camera coverage, giving judges discretion in the application of technical coverage limitations and eliminating a repealer.
The Mississippi Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings have been in effect since July 1, 2003. The rules had been set to expire Dec. 31, 2004. The court removed the repealer.
A revision was made to Rule 4 (a), which deals with restrictions on the location of electronic equipment during court proceedings and prohibitions against certain equipment. Language was added which says, “Matters covered by this sub-part are subject to the discretion of the presiding judge and my be relaxed so long as the coverage does not result in distraction of the proceedings.”
A revision to Rule 4 (f) gives individual judges the discretion to waive the pool requirement for electronic coverage. A judge may still elect to impose the pool requirement.
The revised rule reads: “Unless otherwise allowed by the presiding judge, no more than one television camera or video recorder, one audio system for radio broadcasting, and one still photographer shall be allowed in any judicial proceeding. Any pooling arrangements among the media required by these limitations on equipment and personnel shall be the sole responsibility of the media without calling upon the presiding justice or judge to mediate any dispute as to the appropriate media representative or equipment authorized to cover a particular proceeding. In the absence of advance media agreement on disputed equipment or personnel issues, the presiding justice or judge shall exclude all contesting media personnel from a proceeding.”
Rules 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the Mississippi Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings are UNCHANGED. A complete copy of the rules is available on the Supreme Court web site, www.mssc.state.ms.us. Click on RULES and go to Mississippi Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings.
The Mississippi Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings apply to the Mississippi Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, chancery courts, circuit courts and county courts. The rules DO NOT apply to justice courts and municipal courts.