CHAPTER 15: SPECIFIC PRESS ISSUES - Table of Contents
15.1 - Introduction • 15.2 - Access to Court Files, Staffs and Dockets • 15.3 - Crim. p. 35(b) Proceedings (Reconsideration of Sentence) • 15.4 - Crim. P. 35(c) Proceedings • 15.5 - Revocation Proceedings • 15.6 - Appeals to Federal Court • 15.7 - Appeals in Civil Cases
15.7 RULES GOVERNING EXPANDED MEDIA COVERAGE
Canon 3 of the Colorado Code of Judicial Conduct provides: A judge should perform the duties of his or her office impartially and diligently. (The Code is an appendix to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.) Sections A (7) and (8) of that canon provide:
(7) A judge may authorize:
(a) The use of electronic or photographic means for the perpetuation of a record, or for purposes of judicial administration;
(8) Judicial Supervision over Expanded Media Coverage of Court Proceedings. A judge may authorize expanded media coverage of court proceedings, in addition to those referred to in section (7) of this Canon, subject to the guidelines set forth below.
(a) Definitions. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(I) "Proceeding" means any trial, hearing, or any other matter held in open court that the public is entitled to attend.
(b) Standards for Authorizing Coverage. In determining whether expanded media coverage should be permitted, a judge shall consider the following factors:
(I) Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial;
(II) whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would unduly detract from the solemnity, decorum and dignity of the court; and
(c) Limitations on Expanded Media Coverage. Notwithstanding an authorization to conduct expanded media coverage of a proceeding, there shall be no:
(I) Expanded media coverage of pretrial hearings in criminal cases, except advisements and arraignments;
(d) Authority to Impose Restrictions on Expanded Media Coverage. A judge may restrict or limit expanded media coverage as may be necessary to preserve the dignity of the court or to protect the parties, witnesses, or jurors. A judge may terminate or suspend expanded media coverage at any time upon making findings of fact that: (1) rules established under this Canon or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated; or (2) substantial rights of individual participants or rights to a fair trial may be prejudiced by such coverage if it is allowed to continue.
(e) Conditions for Coverage. Expanded media coverage shall be conducted only under the following conditions:
(I) Equipment Limitations.
(aa) Video. Only one person at a time shall be permitted to operate a videotape, television, or motion picture camera. There shall be only one such camera at a time in the courtroom, except that, at the discretion of the judge, the camera operator may have a second camera. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.
(II) Pooling Arrangements. The media shall be solely responsible for designating one media representative to conduct each of the categories of expanded media coverage listed in subsection (I) of this section, and for arranging an open and impartial distribution scheme with a distribution point located outside of the courtroom. If no agreement can be reached on either of these matters, then there shall be no expanded media coverage of the type for which no pooling agreement has been made. Neither judges nor other court personnel shall be called upon to resolve any disputes concerning such pooling arrangements.
(III) Conduct of Media Representatives. Persons conducting expanded media coverage shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the decorum and dignity of the courtroom. The following practices shall apply:
(aa) Equipment employed to provide expanded media coverage shall be positioned and operated so as to minimize any distraction;
(f) Procedures. The following procedures shall be followed in obtaining authorization for expanded media coverage:
(I) Request for Expanded Media Coverage. A written request shall be submitted to the judge at least one day before expanded media coverage is requested to begin, unless a longer or shorter time is required or permitted by the judge. Copies of the request shall be given to counsel for each party participating in the proceeding. The request shall include the following:
(aa) The name, number, date and time of the proceeding;
(II) Objections. Any party or witness may lodge with the judge a written objection to expanded media coverage of all or a portion of a proceeding.
(III) Judicial Authorization. The judge shall rule on a request or objection within a reasonable time prior to the proceeding or promptly after the request or objection if the proceeding has begun. The ruling shall be made on the record and the reasons therefore set forth briefly.
(IV) The media or any witness may not appeal, or seek review by original proceeding, the granting or denial of expanded media coverage. A party may seek review of a ruling by original proceeding, if otherwise appropriate, or by post-trial appeal.
The Twentieth Judicial District has adopted an additional rule to implement Canon 3:
Rule 11. Expanded Electronic Media Coverage
This rule is to serve as a supplement to Canon 3 A (8), Judicial Supervision Over Expanded Media Coverage of Court Proceedings as adopted by the Supreme Court of Colorado, effective December 1, 1985.
(a) Judges of the Twentieth Judicial District recognize rights of the public to be aware of judicial proceedings. It is the intent of this rule to allow television camera coverage of first appearances in a manner meeting needs of the media while allowing for minimal disruption of the court and private citizens.
(b) The first television station requesting media coverage shall be the designated station unless otherwise agreed by the media. Said station shall record for all other television stations.
(c) A written request for coverage using the attached form entitled: Boulder County - Expanded Media Requests for Advisement, must be in the possession of the intake judge by 10:00 a.m. on the hearing date. A copy of the request shall also be provided to the assistant district attorney, defense attorney (if known), or to the public defender's office at the same time. The requesting station may phone the district attorney's office to get defense attorney's name.
(d) Objections to television coverage must be submitted, in writing, directly to the intake judge by noon on the hearing date.
(e) Division clerks shall give original(s) of requests and objections (if any) to the clerk's office for filing.
(f) Judges shall schedule first appearance hearings involving electronic media coverage separately at 2:00 p.m. Other hearings will follow at 2:15 p.m.
(g) Media personnel shall quietly leave the courtroom immediately after completion of a hearing covered, using procedures designated in Canon 3 A (8) and this rule.
An example of the written request that the local rule mentions can be found here.
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