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Detailed Guide: Pennsylvania

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Allows Cameras? No
Exceptions: Non-jury, non-confidential proceedings where presiding judge grants limited permission

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

Photography and broadcasting of judicial proceedings are generally prohibited in both civil and criminal trials. Pennsylvania Code, Rule 1910 permits judges to authorize media coverage of non-jury civil proceedings, unless a party or witness objects to being photographed or recorded. Coverage of support, custody, and divorce proceedings is prohibited. Media wishing to seek permission to cover a proceeding should speak in advance with the courtroom staff, as the presiding judge must expressly authorize coverage. The presiding judge determines the placement of electronic equipment. No more than one TV camera should be in the courtroom at one time.

Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 112 prohibits coverage of any judicial proceedings and transmission of communications by phone, radio, television, or other advanced communication technology.

The Supreme Court allows the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) to record its proceedings and broadcast the proceedings after approval. Section § 63.9 of the Internal Operating Procedures of the Supreme Court governs PCN’s coverage of the high court. PCN is allowed to record all proceedings in front of the Supreme Court that are not sealed; the proceedings will not be broadcast live. The Supreme Court may limit, terminate, or remove camera personnel to protect the rights of the parties of the proceedings. Except by direction of the Supreme Court to limit the coverage, PCN must broadcast the proceedings “gavel-to-gavel.” Section § 63.9 mandates that only robotic cameras be used to record proceedings, and that recording equipment shall not be distracting.

Links: Authority
201 Pennsylvania Code, Rule 1910 - Broadcasting, Recording and Photography in the Courtroom
Pennsylvania Code Section 69.502: Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) Guidelines
Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 112: Publicity, Broadcasting, and Recording of Proceedings

Links: Other
Pennsylvania Courts on Pennsylvania Cable Network
Pennsylvania Courts YouTube Channel
Pennsylvania Courts Media Resources

Last edited: December 13, 2022