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Rule4-401.02.  Possession and use of portable electronic devices.

 

Intent:

To permit the use of portable electronic devices in courthousesand courtrooms, subject to local restrictions.

 

Applicability:

This rule applies to the courts of record and not of record.

 

Statement of the Rule:

(1)    Definitions.

(1)(A)    ?Judge? as used in this rule meansthe judge, justice, or court commissioner who is presiding over the proceeding.

(1)(B)    ?Portable electronic device? as usedin this rule means any device that can record or transmit data, images orsounds, or access the internet, including a pager, laptop/notebook/personalcomputer, handheld PC, PDA, audio or video recorder, wireless device, cellulartelephone, or electronic calendar.

(1)(C) ??? ?Court proceeding?means any trial, hearing or other matter, including proceedings conducted byremote transmission.

 

(2)    Possession and use ofportable electronic devices in a courthouse.

(2)(A)    A person may possess and use aportable electronic device anywhere in a courthouse, except as limited by thisrule or directive of the judge.

(2)(B)??? All portableelectronic devices are subject to screening or inspection at the time of entryto the courthouse and at any time within the courthouse in accordance with Rule3-414.

(2)(C)    All portable electronic devices aresubject to confiscation if there is reason to believe that a device is or willbe used in violation of this rule. Violation of this rule or directive of thejudge may be treated as contempt of court.

(2)(D)     For the limited purpose ofconducting a pilot project to evaluate the performance of justice court judgesusing courtroom observation, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission mayrecord and transmit video and sound of court proceedings. These recordings andtransmissions are not public, pursuant to Utah Code sections 63G-2-201(3) and78A-12-206.

 

(3)    Restrictions.

(3)(A)     Use of portable electronic devices in common areas. The presidingjudges may restrict the time, place, and manner of using a portable electronicdevice to maintain safety, decorum, and order of common areas of thecourthouse, such as lobbies and corridors.

(3)(B)    Useof portable electronic devices in courtrooms.

(3)(B)(i)     A person may silently use aportable electronic device inside a courtroom.

(3)(B)(ii)    A person may not use a portableelectronic device to record or transmit images or sound of court proceedings,except in accordance with Rule 4-401.01 or subsection (2)(D) above.

(3)(B)(iii)   A judge may further restrict use ofportable electronic devices in his or her courtroom. Judges are encouraged notto impose further restrictions unless use of a portable electronic device mightinterfere with the administration of justice, disrupt the proceedings, pose anythreat to safety or security, compromise the integrity of the proceedings, orthreaten the interests of a minor.

(3)(B)(iv)   During trialand juror selection, prospective, seated, and alternate jurors are prohibitedfrom researching and discussing the case they are or will be trying. Onceselected, jurors shall not use a portable electronic device while in thecourtroom and shall not possess an electronic device while deliberating.

(3)(C)    Use of portable electronic devices while viewing court proceedingsconducted by remote transmission.

(3)(C)(i)     Aperson may not use a portable electronic device to record, photograph, ortransmit images or sound of court proceedings, except in accordance with rule4-401.01 or subsection (2)(D) above. Access to court proceedings will becontingent on the person agreeing to comply with the provisions in this ruleand any administrative or standing orders that supplement this rule.

(3)(C)(ii)    Aviolation of an administrative or standing order may be treated as contempt ofcourt.

 

(4)     Use of portableelectronic devices in court chambers. A person may not use aportable electronic device in chambers without prior approval from the judge.

 

(5)     Instruction towitnesses. It should be anticipated that observers in thecourtroom will use portable electronic devices to transmit news accounts andcommentary during the proceedings. Judges should instruct counsel to instructwitnesses who have been excluded from the courtroom not to view accounts ofother witnesses' testimony before giving their own testimony.

 

Effective November 1, 2020