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Court rules on cell phone use in court from coast to coast

One of the many details to worry about when you're getting ready for trial is how to get permission from the court to bring in your smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices. The National Center for State Courts has a great resource that can help you find the necessary information for a number of state courts. See this web page, "Cell Phone and Electronic Device Policies - Social Media and the Courts State Links".

The NCSC has posted links to state court policies on the use of portable electronic devices and wireless access in courtrooms.

So, for example Rule 122.1 of the Supreme Court of Arizona permits the use of portable electronic devices (laptops, cell phones, etc.) to retrieve and storage information, and to send text messages, but instructs that the devices be silenced while they are in the courtroom.

Rules posted for the Connecticut Superior Court by Judge Patrick L. Carroll III, the Chief Court Administrator, specifically permit the use of portable scanners for imaging documents in the clerk's office and printers outside of courtrooms.

The Local Rules of Practice for the Third Judicial Circuit for Harrison County, Indiana simply prohibit attorneys from turning on their smartphones: "No person, excluding law enforcement, or person exempted by the Court, shall take, carry, transport or possess any firearm or explosive device, in any area, in or adjacent to the Harrison County Courthouse, State of Indiana or in the Harrison County Justice Center in Corydon, Indiana. Additionally, cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices, shall be placed in the 'off' position while in the Courtroom." See Ind. Harrison LR31-AR00-08.


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