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Detailed Guide: Connecticut

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Allows Cameras? Yes
Exceptions: None

Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
Allows Cell Phones to Record Video? No

Section 70-9 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure (governing media coverage in the Appellate and Supreme Courts) and Sections 1-10 and 1-11 of the Rules for the Superior Court (governing coverage in trial courts) permit the coverage of judicial proceedings in most circumstances with a few exceptions. Each court has specific allowances for the location, number, and operation of cameras and type of lighting. The equipment may not be moved during the proceeding, and the court has discretion to require pooling arrangements.

At the appellate and Supreme courts, a panel of jurists can only limit or preclude coverage if “there is good cause to do so, there are no reasonable alternatives to such limitations, and the limitation is no broader than necessary to protect the competing interests at issue.” The presumption in favor of coverage does not apply to sexual offense cases or family relations matters. At trial courts, the media may broadcast, televise, record, or photograph court proceedings except in (1) matters dealing with family relations, juveniles, sexual assault, or trade secrets; (2) proceedings held without the jury present in a jury trial, unless the trial court makes an exception; (3) proceedings that are closed to the public; (4) a trial during recess; (5) conferences among the parties; or (6) jury selection.

Connecticut has special rules for covering trial court arraignments (Sec. 1-11A), civil proceedings (Sec. 1-11B), and criminal proceedings. For arraignments, the media must request permission for electronic coverage. Civil proceedings at the trial court level allow coverage unless the court finds substantial reason to believe that coverage will compromise a party’s legal rights, safety, or privacy. For criminal proceedings, any media representative who wants to cover criminal proceedings must submit a written notice of coverage three days prior to the proceedings. This requirement may be waived for good cause. The presumption of coverage does not apply to sexual offense matters, and the court may limit or preclude coverage if it finds substantial reason to believe that coverage will compromise a party’s legal rights, safety, or privacy.

Connecticut also sets forth rules concerning the use and possession of electronic devices in state courtrooms. Under Superior Court rules, individuals may bring cell phones and personal computers into courtrooms; however, individuals may not take pictures or broadcast sound or video with their cell phones and may only use personal computers for note taking. Under Appellate and Supreme Court rules, individuals may have a cell phone, PDA, personal computer, or other electronic device that can broadcast, record, or take pictures; however, individuals may not use those devices to take pictures, record, or broadcast. In addition, individuals may not use cell phones in the courtroom.

Links: Authority
Connecticut Rules of Appellate Procedure § 70-9, page 492
Connecticut Implementation of Amended Practice Book § 70-9
Connecticut Rules for the Superior Court §§ 1-10, 1-11, pg. 107-112

Links: Other
Connecticut Courts: Cameras
Connecticut Rules Regarding the Electronic Coverage of Criminal Court Proceedings by the Media
The Use and Possession of Electronic Devices in Superior Court Facilities
Connecticut Supreme and Appellate Courts Guidelines for the Possession and Use of Electronic Devices
Connecticut Superior Court Judicial Districts - Live Stream
Connecticut Supreme Court YouTube Channel
Connecticut Courts Media Resource Center

Last edited: February 16, 2023