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Detailed Guide: Minnesota

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Allows Cameras? Yes (with permission)
Exceptions: Only notice is required for appellate courts.

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

Expanded coverage is permitted at both the trial and appellate level, but at the trial level, the judge must consent to coverage prior to commencement of the trial and coverage is subject to limitations.

Rule 4 of Minnesota’s General Rules of Practice governs coverage of district courts. The presiding judge can authorize recording of court proceedings with the consent of all parties in criminal proceedings and without the consent of parties in civil proceedings. All courtroom coverage must occur in the presence of the presiding judge. Coverage of witnesses who object prior to testifying and coverage of jurors is prohibited, as is coverage of hearings that take place outside of the presence of the jury. Coverage is prohibited in cases involving child custody, divorce, juvenile proceedings, child protection proceedings, paternity proceedings, civil commitment proceedings, petitions for orders for protection, hearings on suppression of evidence, police informants, relocated witnesses, sex crimes, trade secrets, and undercover agents.

To cover trial court proceedings, the media must give written notice of the intent to cover the proceedings at least 10 days before the proceedings begin. A party who opposes coverage may object to coverage and must do so at least 3 days before the proceedings begin. The judge has discretion to allow or prohibit coverage and will decide before the proceedings begin. The judge also has discretion to limit or terminate coverage at any point during the proceeding. The decision of the judge can be appealed, but only after the proceeding has been completed and only by a party.

The trial court judge also has the authority to regulate the means by which coverage occurs. In the absence of a specific order, Rule 4.04 sets forth default technical standards. No more than one video camera with one operator and two still cameras with one photographer are allowed in the proceeding. Only one audio system for radio broadcast is allowed. The media are responsible for pooling agreements. Recording equipment cannot produce distracting sounds or lights. The trial judge determines the location of recording equipment.

At the appellate level, Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure Rule 134.10 permits coverage of proceedings without consent of the parties and witnesses, but the Court Information Office must be notified of an intent to cover the proceedings at least 24 hours in advance of the coverage. Only one television camera and one still photographer, using not more than two cameras with two lenses each are permitted in the courtroom during proceedings. The media may not use motor-driven still cameras. The court determines the location for all recording equipment. The media are responsible for arranging pooling agreements.

Links: Authority
Minnesota Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure Rule 134.10: Audio and Video Coverage of Appellate Court Proceedings
Minnesota General Rules of Practice Rule 4: Visual and Audio Recordings

Links: Other
Media Resource Center: Cameras in Minnesota Courts
Minnesota Supreme Court Video Webcast

Last edited: December 13, 2022