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Detailed Guide: Hawaii

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Allows Cameras? Yes (with permission)
Exceptions: Closed proceedings

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

Electronic media and still photography coverage of proceedings are allowed in both the appellate and trial courts. Consent of the judge prior to coverage of a trial proceeding is required. Appellate proceedings only require prior notice by one media representative and do not require a judge’s prior consent. The judge may rule on the request orally and on the record or by written order if requested by any party, but shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law if coverage is denied.

A request for coverage will be granted unless good cause is found to prohibit it. Good cause for denying coverage is presumed to exist when the proceeding is for the purpose of determining the admissibility of evidence, child witnesses or complaining witnesses in a criminal sexual offense case are testifying, testimony regarding trade secrets is being given, a witness would be put in substantial jeopardy of bodily harm, or testimony of undercover law enforcement agents involved in other ongoing undercover investigations is being received.

Coverage of proceedings which are closed to the public is prohibited. These proceedings include juvenile cases, child abuse and neglect cases, paternity and adoption cases, and grand jury proceedings. Coverage of jurors or prospective jurors is prohibited. Additionally, coverage of a judge’s chambers or conferences between attorneys and clients is not allowed. Only one television camera and one still photographer, with not more than two still cameras are allowed in the courtroom at one time (although the judge may allow more at his/her discretion, including a second television camera for live coverage). The media are responsible for arranging pooling agreements.

Any individual may request to record audio from judicial proceedings. The recording device must be small and hand-held, have a built-in microphone, and be operated from the seat of the person recording. The request to the judge must be timely, and the judge decides whether or not to grant the request. Otherwise, the public is asked to turn off cell phones and electronic devices when they enter the courtroom. Ultimately, the judge maintains discretion to designate a portion of the courtroom for electronic device use or implement further restrictions.

Jurors are specifically instructed not to discuss the case being tried via “emailing, text messaging, tweeting, blogging or any other form of communication.”

Links: Authority
Rules 5.1 and 5.2, Rules of the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii
Jury Instructions Regarding Social Media

Links: Other
Hawaii State Judiciary Media Guidelines
Hawaii Supreme Court Youtube and Livestream
Hawaii Supreme Court Oral Argument Recordings

Last edited: December 12, 2022