On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an Order amending the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.

On May 1, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court will begin permitting media cameras in Indiana courtrooms. This is based on the order of amending the code of judicial conduct Rule 2.17 entitled “Prohibiting Broadcasting of Proceedings”. In the pre-amended order, it was stated that a judge shall prohibit broadcasting, televising, recording, or taking photographs in the courtroom and areas immediately adjacent during sessions of court or recesses between sessions.

However, pursuant to the amended version, the three official courtrooms in Hancock namely: Count Hancock County Superior Court 1, Superior Court 2, and Circuit Court, may now allow media in the courtroom to film, stream, and photograph court proceedings on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the court.

In a statement, Judge Scott Sirk, who oversees Circuit Court, noted that they want the media to make requests through documents in order to film stream or photograph the court proceedings they need to cover and to have the request filed with sufficient time in order to inform the parties so they can respond to the media’s request accordingly.

“We can hear if they have an objection and then consider it, but in the end, it will be up to the judge to make the final decision.”, as Judge Sirk stated.

Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush stated in the press release that the amended order is the culmination of years of work,

“This is the culmination of years of work and pilot projects with discussion and evaluation,” Rush said. “Trial court judges are in the best position to determine how to balance the importance of transparency while protecting the rights of people involved in a court matter.”

The change will not be possible without the work and dedication of the Indiana Judicial Conference Community Relations Committee and Court Security Committee, along with the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana Broadcasters Association, where careful evaluation led to a four-month pilot program.

However, it should be noted that based on the amended order. broadcasting, televising, recording, digital streaming, or photographing of court proceedings or the courtroom by members of the news media are allowed on the following condition; a) the means of recording will not distract participants or impair the dignity of the proceedings; b) the broadcasting is restricted to non-confidential proceedings.

 

Source: The Indiana Supreme Court