Directive # 12-20
April 27, 2020
disclosure of confidential information in a civil commitment hearing or of
information about the location of a party in a hearing on domestic violence
or for other protective orders.
o Interested persons, including members of the public and the media, may request
real-time access to observe events that are not livestreamed but are not proscribed
from public access. Such access will be permitted, subject to resource limitations,
as determined by the court.
Information and directions for requesting real-time access to events that
are not livestreamed will be readily available to the public, including by
posting on the Judiciary’s public webpage.
Requests to observe court events that are not livestreamed will be
submitted to the judge handling the event, either by email or by phone.
Requests will be granted on the condition that the court event must not be
recorded or broadcast absent specific written permission from the
Assignment Judge or designee, consistent with the Supreme Court
Guidelines on Media Access and Electronic Devices in the Courts
The Request for Audio or Video Records of Remote Court Proceedings
During COVID-19 Crisis form (attached) should be used to request
records of court events that are not closed.
Transcripts of court events may be requested according to existing
Judiciary policies and procedures.
o For all events that are or may be livestreamed, judges have discretion not to live
broadcast, including based on resource limitations; technical difficulties;
preferences expressed by the parties, attorneys, witnesses, victims, or other
interested persons; risk of disclosure of information that is confidential; or for
other reasons including but not limited to public safety concerns. Real-time
public access to events still must be enabled consistent with the above provisions.
Events Guidance for Trial Courts – Technological Options and Public Access
Based on the above principles, we have created and will continue to refine lists for the
trial divisions of the Superior Court (Civil, Criminal, Family) and Municipal Courts showing: (1)
typical events that occur in that division; (2) what technology should be used for each type of
event; and (3) the nature of the public record. The Events Guidance lists are posted on the
Judiciary’s public webpage in the Attorneys section and the Self-Help Resources section.
The Events Guidance lists are subject to refinement based on the evolving public health
crisis and the Judiciary’s potential access to additional technology options. Consult the
Judiciary’s public webpage to review the most current events guidance documents.