Possession and Use of Electronic Devices in the Courthouse

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Possession and Use of Electronic Devices in the Courthouse

No electronic device, including but not limited to cellular phones, pagers, laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) may be bought into or used in any Courthouse in the Western District of Louisiana by visitors to the Courthouse without the prior approval of a judge of this court, except as set forth in the following paragraphs.

Possession of Electronic Devices

Employees. Employees of the United States Government with official business in the courthouse may bring electronic devices such as cellular phones, pagers, laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) into the courthouse.

Attorneys. Attorneys who are in good standing with and admitted to practice before this court having business before the court may bring electronic devices, such as cellular phones, pagers, laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs), into the courthouse on the day of their business with the court. This permission includes the staff employed by the attorney to assist in the attorney’s business with the court.

Witnesses. Witnesses who are scheduled to testify before the Court may bring, on the day they are scheduled to appear before the court, such electronic devices as are necessary to aid in their testimony, IF the attorney who is calling the witness has obtained permission from the Judge before whom the witness is appearing.

Use of Electronic Devices

Courtrooms. All electronic devices including but not limited to cellular phones, pagers, laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs), must be turned off at all times inside the courtroom unless permission is obtained from the presiding judge.

Outside of the Courtrooms. Electronic devices including cellular phones, pagers, laptop computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs), may be used in portions of the courthouse outside of the courtroom so long as they do not serve to disrupt court proceedings.

Photography & Recording Prohibited

At no time at any location within the courthouse may any electronic device be used to make a photograph or recording in any fashion, whether audio, video or otherwise.

Unauthorized Possession or Use of an Electronic Device

Unauthorized possession or use of an electronic device in the courthouse may subject the offender to suspension or limitation of these privileges or for punishment for contempt of court.

Suspension or Modification of This Rule During Heightened Security

The privileges conferred by this order shall be subject to suspension or modification without notice in the event that the U. S. Marshal’s Service, the Court, or other federal agency declares a need for a heightened level of security at the courthouse.