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Detailed Guide: Oregon

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Allows Cameras? Yes (with permission)
Exceptions: Cases involving family law and juveniles, trade secrets, and sex offense proceedings (at the victim’s request)

Audio or Video Webcast? Yes
Media Guide Available? Yes
Allows Cell Phones to Record Video? Yes (with permission)

The Oregon Constitution contains a provision that helps to ensure that courts remain open and accessible. Oregon Constitution Article I Section 10 provides that “no court shall be secret, but justice shall be administered, openly and without purchase, completely and without delay, and every man shall have remedy by due course of law for injury done him in his person, property, or reputation.”

In the appellate courts, broad discretion to permit or deny coverage is vested in the judge, who may deny coverage to “control the conduct of the proceedings before the court, insure decorum and prevent distractions, and insure the fair administration of justice in proceedings before the court.” Only one television camera and one still photographer are allowed in the courtroom at any one time, and any pooling arrangements are the responsibility of the media.

At the trial court level, “public access coverage” is allowed, but a judge may deny coverage if there is a “reasonable likelihood” that the coverage would interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial, would affect the presentation of evidence or the outcome of the trial, or if “any cost or increased burden resulting” from the coverage would interfere with the “efficient administration of justice.” Public access coverage is not limited to the traditional media, but includes any person using “television equipment; still photography equipment; audio, video, or other electronic recording equipment.” Coverage of dissolution, juvenile, paternity, adoption, custody, visitation, support, mental commitment, trade secrets, and abuse, restraining and stalking order proceedings is prohibited. Also, coverage of sex offense proceedings will be prohibited at the victim’s request. Upon request, those covering a proceeding must provide a copy of the coverage to the court and “any other person, if the requestor pays actual copying expense.”

Courts may adopt local rules to establish procedural requirements governing media access.

Cell phones must be turned off inside courtrooms. Members of the media may ask for express permission from the court to record video on their cell phones. Violations of Oregon law can lead to members of the media being held in contempt.

Links: Authority
Oregon Constitution Article I, Section 10: Administration of Justice
Oregon Rule 8.35 Media Coverage of Appellate Court Proceedings, pg. 113-114
Oregon Rule 3.180 Electronic Recording and Writing on Courthouse Premises

Links: Other
Oregon Appellate Courts Livestream
Oregon Courts YouTube Channel
Oregon Courts Media Guide

Last edited: December 13, 2022