Bartholomew County judges are proposing new rules allowing the news media to have cameras in some court hearings.
The Supreme Court of Indiana bans broadcasting of court proceedings in the state but will allow local courts to make exceptions.
The rules being proposed by Judges Jonathan Rohde, James Worton and Kelly Benjamin would allow access to the media including newspapers, periodicals, press associations, radio or tv stations or wire services. The media would have to make a request in writing seven days before a court hearing to be recorded or photographed.
The proposal also sets out requirements that the news media must be unobtrusive and quiet, may not move around the courtroom or conduct interviews in the courtroom. Cameras would have to be on a fixed mount and cannot be moved, tilted or panned when court is in session. Handheld cameras would not be allowed.
Violations of the rules could result in contempt of court charges or other sanctions.
Broadcasting will always be prohibited if the proceedings are closed to the public. The proposed rules would also prohibit recording hearings of minors, child in need of services, protective orders, and hearings involving victims of violent offenses, sex offenses and domestic abuse.
The judges will be seeking your opinion on the proposed rule changes. After the Supreme Court reviews the proposal, it will be made available for public comment.