Michigan Supreme Court considers revision of administrative order

On order of the Court, this is to advise that the Court is considering an amendment of Administrative Order No. 1989-1. Before determining whether the proposal should be adopted, changed before adoption, or rejected, this notice is given to afford interested persons the opportunity to comment on the form or the merits of the proposal or to suggest alternatives. The Court welcomes the views of all. This matter also will be considered at a public hearing. The notices and agendas for public hearings are posted at http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/Resources/Administrative/PH.htm.

Publication of this proposal does not mean that the Court will issue an order on the subject, nor does it imply probable adoption of the proposal in its present form.

[Additions to the text are indicated in bold and deleted text is shown italicized.]

Administrative Order No. 1989-1

Film or Electronic Media Coverage of Court Proceedings

The following guidelines shall apply to film or electronic media coverage of proceedings in Michigan courts:

1. Definitions.

(a) "Film or electronic media coverage" means any recording or broadcasting of court proceedings by the media using television, radio, photographic, or recording equipment.

(b) "Media" or "media agency" means any person or organization engaging in news gathering or reporting and includes any newspaper, radio or television station or network, news service, magazine, trade paper, professional journal, or other news reporting or news gathering agency.

(c) "Judge" means the judge presiding over a proceeding in the trial court, the presiding judge of a panel in the Court of Appeals, or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

2. Limitations.

(a) In the trial courts.

(a)(i) Film or electronic media coverage shall be allowed upon request in all court proceedings. Requests by representatives of media agencies for such coverage must be made in writing to the clerk of the particular court not less than three business days before the proceeding is scheduled to begin. A judge has the discretion to honor a request that does not comply with the requirements of this subsection. The court shall provide that the parties be notified of a request for film or electronic media coverage.

(b)(ii) A judge may terminate, suspend, limit, or exclude film or electronic media coverage at any time upon a finding, made and articulated on the record in the exercise of discretion, that the fair administration of justice requires such action, or that rules established under this order or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated. The judge has sole discretion to exclude coverage of certain witnesses, including but not limited to the victims of sex crimes and their families, police informants, undercover agents, and relocated witnesses.

(c)(iii) Film or electronic media coverage of the jurors or the jury selection process shall not be permitted.

(d)(iv) A trial judge's decision to terminate, suspend, limit, or exclude film or electronic media coverage is not appealable, by right or by leave.

(b) In the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

(i) Film or electronic media coverage shall be allowed upon request in all court proceedings except for good cause as determined under MCR 8.116(D). Requests by representatives of media agencies for such coverage must be made in writing to the clerk of the particular court not less than three business days before the proceeding is scheduled to begin. A judge has the discretion to honor a request that does not comply with the requirements of this subsection. The court shall provide that the parties be notified of a request for film or electronic media coverage. An order denying permission to film or otherwise provide electronic media coverage must state with particularity the reasons for the denial.

(ii) A judge may terminate, suspend, limit, or exclude film or electronic media coverage at any time upon a finding, made and articulated on the record, that good cause requires such action or that rules established under this order or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated.

(iii) If a judge terminates, suspends, limits, or excludes film or electronic media coverage, the person who requested permission to film or otherwise provide for electronic media coverage may appeal that decision to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. If the Chief Judge affirms the judge's decision, the requester may appeal by leave to the Supreme Court.

3.-9. [Unchanged.]

Staff Comment: The proposed amendment of Administrative Order No. 1989-1 adds new language that clarifies and expands the standards for allowing film or electronic media coverage of court proceedings in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

The staff comment is not an authoritative construction by the Court.

A copy of this order will be given to the Secretary of the State Bar and to the State Court Administrator so that they can make the notifications specified in MCR 1.201. Comments on the proposal may be sent to the Supreme Court Clerk in writing or electronically by Oct. 1, 2012, at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, MI 48909, or MSC_clerk@courts.mi.gov. When filing a comment, please refer to ADM File No. 2011-09. Your comments and the comments of others will be posted at http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/Resources/Administrative/index.htm#proposed.

Published: Mon, Jun 11, 2012