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Detailed Guide: Indiana

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Allows Cameras? Yes (with permission)
Exceptions: Each trial court has its own unique policy.

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

Although Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17 prohibits use of video equipment in courtrooms or areas adjacent thereto, the Indiana Supreme Court has issued court orders in accordance with the rule to change that policy. Media coverage of oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court is allowed, but only one video camera and two still cameras are permitted during an oral argument. All other media personnel seeking coverage must watch and broadcast from a live audio and video feed transmitted to a designated media area outside of the courtroom. Requests for coverage are to be made via email at least two business days prior to the start of the proceeding.

From December 2021 to March 2022, the Indiana Supreme Court oversaw a pilot program that allowed broadcasting of civil and criminal proceedings (except closed proceedings) in five courts: Allen Superior Court, Criminal; Delaware Circuit Court 1; Lake Superior Court, Civil 7; Tippecanoe Circuit Court; and Vanderburgh Suerior Court. During the pilot program, judges prohibited broadcasts of specific subject matter or persons, including police informants, minors, bench conferences, mental health commitments, and trade secrets. The Indiana Supreme Court will receive recommendations from Indiana Judicial Conference committees based on survey responses from judges, attorneys, and journalists--as well as audio, video, and stories produced by participating members of the media. The Judicial Conference committees will coordinate their final report with the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana Broadcasters Association.
As of December 2019, the Indiana Court of Appeals also allows a similar type of media coverage of oral arguments. Requests for permission must be submitted by email at least 48 hours in advance. Oral arguments held outside of the Statehouse allow up to two video cameras and two still cameras. Oral arguments in the Indiana Supreme Court courtroom will be livestreamed to a designated area outside the courtroom with one video camera and two still cameras allowed inside in case there is a problem with the live feed.

The Indiana Tax Court allows media coverage in the courtroom with up to two video cameras and two still cameras. Any pooling arrangements must be arranged among media personnel. No prior request for permission is required, but television crews must be at the courthouse one hour before the start of the oral argument and radio journalists must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the argument.

Indiana trial courts have different policies regarding use of cameras and cell phones in their courtrooms. Lagrange County, Steuben County, St. Joseph County, and Switzerland County all explicitly prohibit cell phones, cameras, and any media coverage in their courthouses. Greene county permits cell phones as long as they are silenced but does not allow cameras or recording devices of any kind. Putnam County, Harrison County, Elkhart County, and Blackford County permit cell phones as long as they are silenced or off, and do not address use of cameras in the courtroom. Montgomery County prohibits cell phones, but allows some strict media coverage.

Links: Authority
Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct Rule 2.17
Standards Governing Electronic Media, Still Photography, and Personal Computing Devices at Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Standards Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography at Oral Arguments in the Court of Appeals of Indiana
Standards Governing Electronic Media and Still Photography at Oral Arguments in the Tax Court
Steuben County Court Local Rules (Cell Phone Ban)

Links: Other
2021 Order Authorizing Pilot Project to Broadcast Court Proceedings
Indiana Court Times: Broadcast Pilot Project Allows Cameras in Court
Video Webcast: Indiana Supreme Court
Video Webcast: Indiana Court of Appeals
Indiana Courts YouTube Channel
Lake County Courts YouTube Channel
Indiana Courts: Communication, Education & Outreach

Last edited: December 13, 2022