The following rule covers broadcast of courtroom proceedings in courtrooms presided over solely by the Honorable Steven Burns, the Honorable Stephanie Stacy, and the Honorable Paul D. Merritt, Jr.
In the discretion of the judge presiding, courtroom proceedings in these four courtrooms may be broadcast, both audio and video, and may be televised, recorded, or photographed (hereafter collectively referred to as "broadcast") under the following conditions:
1. Cameras and sound equipment of quality and type approved by the Judge presiding in the case, will be fixed in place in the courtroom with field of view of the camera and field of range of microphones being approved by the Judge presiding over the proceedings. Other than the cameras identified herein, no other camera will be permitted in the courtroom, including a still camera without authorization of the presiding judge. The images produced by the camera in the courtroom should be of such a nature that still images may be retrieved.
2. The audio broadcast shall include only the statements made in open court and shall not include communications between counsel, between counsel and their clients, or bench conferences between counsel and the court.
3. Images of, or statements from, jurors will not be broadcast.
4. Jury selection will not be broadcast.
5. Unless approved by the judge presiding over the proceedings, the following cases will not be broadcast: matters involving grand juries, juveniles (persons under 19 years old), domestic matters, child custody, parenting time, sexual abuse, sexual assault, and protection orders.
6. The testimony of certain witnesses may not be broadcast. Those witnesses are: persons under age 19, a person who claims to be a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault who will be called upon to testify about the abuse or assault, or a confidential informant's testimony about the matter upon which the person informed. Any witness may make a request to prevent that person's testimony from being broadcast, by making application to the Judge presiding over the proceeding indicating the reason the witness does not want their testimony broadcast.
7. Upon application of any party or counsel, the court may determine to not broadcast courtroom proceedings or terminate the broadcast of courtroom proceedings.
8. Upon application at least 14 days in advance of a scheduled hearing that may be broadcast, the court may permit other types of broadcast or recording equipment in the courtroom.
The images and sound produced from the courtroom will be available to any broadcast media licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, domiciled in the State of Nebraska, and any print media published in the State of Nebraska on a pool basis.
The trial judge overseeing the proceeding sought to be broadcast, recorded, or photographed retains sole and complete discretion to terminate the broadcast, recording, or photography (without explanation or warning) at any time during such proceeding.
The overriding principle shall be the guarantee of a fair trial to the litigants. Criteria may change from time to time based on factors which the court has not yet considered, experience with this project and the circumstances of individual cases.
Approved effective January 29, 2008; amended October 21, 2008; amended June 23, 2010; amended September 9, 2010; amended October 16, 2013; amended November 26, 2014.