There are specific rules governing the possession and use of recording and transmitting devices (defined broadly to include cell phones, tablets, and laptops) in courthouses and courtrooms. 

To record or transmit judicial proceedings, media must register in advance of the hearing.   

Participants and observers can use devices in limited ways in a courtroom.

Rules on Possession and Use of Recording and Transmitting Devices in Superior Court

Effective September 3, 2019, the following applies.

In a Courthouse, any person

  • Any person may possess a device and use it nondisruptively
  • Any nonmedia person may not, outside a courtroom, use devices to record or transmit images or sound of another person without express consent
  • Registered media may orally and visually record and transmit but may not (1) use devices to communicate with a sequestered witness or to record or transmit images or sound of the sequestered witness, (2) record or transmit images or sound of parties and witnesses in confidential proceedings in areas immediately adjacent to the courtroom, (3) record or transmit the jury in areas immediately adjacent to the courtroom, and (4) use devices to record audio or video of conferences between attorney and client (only still images).

In a Courtroom (for public proceedings in civil division, V.R.C.P. 79.2, environmental division, V.R.E.C.P. 3, family division, V.R.F.P. 4.0(a)(2), criminal division, V.R.Cr.P. 53, and probate division, V.R.P.P. 79.2)

Registered Media

  • May use devices to orally and visually record public proceedings
  • May use devices to transmit (live stream) public proceedings
  • Must comply with limits on location and pooling for that courtroom

Participants

  • May use devices to audio record proceedings
  • May not use devices to video record or transmit

Registered Media and Participants

  • May not use devices to communicate orally
  • May not operate devices in a manner that emits a distracting sound
  • May not use devices to record audio of bench conferences, conferences between co-counsel, or activity during a recess
  • May not use devices to record audio or video of conferences between attorney and client (only still images)
  • May not use devices to record or transmit activities or images of jurors, except the court may allow images that include the jury on terms that will protect the identity of jurors

Nonparticipants

  • May not use devices to communicate orally or to record or transmit audio or video
  • May not operate devices in a manner that emits a distracting sound
  • May not use devices at all during evidentiary proceedings or when jury is present

Jurors

  • May not use devices during jury selection or trial
  • May not possess devices while deliberating

Court’s Discretion

  • For all or part of a proceeding, the court can permit, prohibit, terminate, limit, or postpone recording or transmitting based on a list of factors
  • If the court waives limits of the rules, the court can include restrictions on placement and operation

 

Rules on Possession and Use of Recording and Transmitting Devices in Supreme Court

Effective September 4, 2019, the following applies.

In a Supreme Court courthouse, any person

  • May possess devices
  • May use devices nondisruptively

In a Supreme Court courtroom

Registered Media

  • May use devices to orally and visually record public proceedings
  • May use devices to transmit (live stream) public proceedings
  • Must comply with limits on location and pooling

Participants

  • May use devices to audio and video record and transmit proceedings

Nonparticipants

  • May not record or transmit from the galley of the courtroom
  • May use devices to orally or visually record, but must comply with limits on location and pooling

Registered Media, Participants, and Nonparticipants

  • May not use devices to communicate orally
  • May not operate devices in a manner that emits a distracting sound
  • May not use devices to record or transmit during a recess or between hearings
  • May not use devices to record audio or video of conferences between attorney and client (only still images)

Court’s Discretion

  • For all or part of a proceeding, the court can permit, prohibit, terminate, limit, or postpone recording or transmitting based on a list of factors

 

Media Registration

To record or transmit judicial proceedings, media must register. To register:

There are four different forms. See below for links to the forms and information about the application process.

  1. The application for permanent registration allows a media organization or individual to obtain a permanent registration certificate.
  2. The application for one-time registration allows media individuals without a permanent registration to obtain permission to record or transmit for a particular day or hearing.
  3. The one-time authorization allows an individual, who belongs to a media organization with a permanent registration certificate, to obtain permission to record or transmit for a particular day or hearing.
  4. The amendment form allows a media organization or individual to amend an existing permanent registration certificate.

 

Form Purpose: Allows media organizations and individuals to obtain a permanent registration certificate
Application Process: Email to jud.mediaregistration@vermont.gov for decision by the Court Administrator
Review Process: Review by the Supreme Court

 

Form Purpose: Allows media individuals without a permanent registration certificate to obtain permission to record or transmit court proceedings for a single day or proceeding
Application Process: Submit to court staff for decision by
  • Presiding Judge of the unit (superior court)
  • Chief Justice (Supreme Court)
Review Process: Review by
  • Chief Superior Judge (superior court)
  • Supreme Court (Supreme Court)

 

Form Purpose: Allows an individual to receive one-time authorization to represent a media organization that holds a permanent registration certificate
Application Process: Submit to court staff for decision by
  • the superior court clerk of the unit (superior court)
  • Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court (Supreme Court)
Review Process: Review by
  • Presiding judge (superior court)
  • Supreme Court (Supreme Court)

 

Form Purpose: Allows media individuals/organizations to amend an existing permanent registration certificate
Application Process: Email to jud.mediaregistration@vermont.gov for decision by the Court Administrator
Review Process: n/a
List of Registered Media

Media that have registered and are authorized to record or transmit are included in this list.

Andy Kirkaldy Addison Independent
Christopher Ross Addison Independent
John Flowers Addison Independent
John McCright Addison Independent
Holly Pelczynski  Bennington Banner
James Therrien  Bennington Banner
Lucas Nathan  Bennington Banner
Patricia LeBoeuf  Bennington Banner
Tiffany Tan  Bennington Banner
Chris Mays  Brattleboro Refomer
Krisopher Radder  Brattleboro Refomer
Robert Audette  Brattleboro Refomer
Susan Smallheer  Brattleboro Refomer
Aki Soga Burlington Free Press
Alex Abrami Burlington Free Press
April Mccullum Burlington Free Press
Austin Danforth Burlington Free Press
Brent Hallenbeck Burlington Free Press
Dan D' Ambrosio Burlington Free Press
Elizabeth Murray Burlington Free Press
Isaac Fornarola Burlington Free Press
Joel Banner Baird Burlington Free Press
Maleeha Syed Burlington Free Press
Ryan Mercer Burlington Free Press
Amy Nixon Caledonian Record
Andrew McGregor Caledonian Record
Dana Gray Caledonian Record
Robin Smith Caledonian Record
Todd Wellington Caledonian Record
Aidan White Channel 17
Charlie Giannoni Channel 17
Daniel Logan Channel 17
Scott Moody Channel 17
Cynthia Prairie Chester Telegraph
Shawn Cunningham Chester Telegraph
Ben Kaufmann County Courier
Gregory J. Lamorueux County Courier
Joyce Kemp County Courier
Rachel Lamoureux County Courier
Christina Bronger NECN Vermont Bureau
Jack Thurston NECN Vermont Bureau
Gordon Dritschilo Rutland Herald
Kate Barcellos Rutland Herald
Keith Whitcomb Rutland Herald
Patrick McArdle Rutland Herald
Courtney Lamdin Seven Days
Dan Bolles Seven Days
Derek Brouwer Seven Days
James Buck Seven Days
Ken Picard Seven Days
Kevin McCallum Seven Days
Margaret Grayson Seven Days
Matthew Roy Seven Days
Molly Walsh Seven Days
Paul Heintz Seven Days
Sasha Goldstein Seven Days
Michael Frett St. Albans Messenger
Michelle Monroe St. Albans Messenger
Thomas Benton St. Albans Messenger
Lisa Rathke The Associated Press
Wilson Ring The Associated Press
David Corriveau Valley News
Geoff Hansen Valley News
James Patterson Valley News
Jennifer Hauck Valley News
Jim Kenyon Valley News
John Gregg Valley News
John Lippman Valley News
Jordan Cuddemi Valley News
Maggie Cassidy Valley News
Nora Doyle-Burr Valley News
Patrick O'Grady Valley News
Tim Camerato Valley News
Vanessa Palange Valley News
Aidan Quigley Vermont Digger
Alan Keays Vermont Digger
Anne Galloway Vermont Digger
Anne Wallace Allen Vermont Digger
Cate Chant Vermont Digger
Colin Meyn Vermont Digger
Dave Gram Vermont Digger
Elizabeth Gribkoff Vermont Digger
Elizabeth Hewitt Vermont Digger
Ellie French Vermont Digger
Glenn Russell Vermont Digger
Grace Elletson Vermont Digger
Jacob Dawson Vermont Digger
Jasper Craven Vermont Digger
Jim Welch Vermont Digger
Jon Margolis Vermont Digger
Justin Trombly Vermont Digger
Katy Savage Vermont Digger
Kevin O’Connor Vermont Digger
Kit Norton Vermont Digger
Lola Duffort Vermont Digger
Mark Johnson Vermont Digger
Mike Dougherty Vermont Digger
Xander Landen Vermont Digger
Eric Francis Vermont News
Janet Francis Vermont News
Amy Kolb Noyes Vermont Public Radio
Angela Evancie Vermont Public Radio
Betty Smith Vermont Public Radio
Bob Kinzel Vermont Public Radio
Elodie Reed  Vermont Public Radio
Emily Corwin  Vermont Public Radio
Henry Epp Vermont Public Radio
Howard Weiss-Tisman Vermont Public Radio
Jane Lindholm Vermont Public Radio
John Dillion Vermont Public Radio
Liam Elder Connors  Vermont Public Radio
Lynne McCrea Vermont Public Radio
Mark Davis Vermont Public Radio
Matthew Smith Vermont Public Radio
Meg Malone Vermont Public Radio
Mitch Wertlieb Vermont Public Radio
Nina Keck Vermont Public Radio
Peter Hirschefeld Vermont Public Radio
Ric Cengeri Vermont Public Radio
Sam Gale Rosen Vermont Public Radio
Sarah Ashworth Vermont Public Radio
Adam Sullivan  WCAX-TV
Alexandra Montgomery WCAX-TV
Alexei Rubenstein WCAX-TV
Andy Goodrich  WCAX-TV
Angela Elderton  WCAX-TV
Avery Powell  WCAX-TV
Calvin Cutler  WCAX-TV
Cassie Helmar  WCAX-TV
Cat Viglienzoni  WCAX-TV
Celine McArthur  WCAX-TV
Christina Guessferd WCAX-TV
Connor Cyrus  WCAX-TV
Darren Perron WCAX-TV
Dom Amato  WCAX-TV
Erin Brown  WCAX-TV
Galen Ettlin  WCAX-TV
Ike Bendavid  WCAX-TV
Joe Carroll  WCAX-TV
Kelly O'Brien  WCAX-TV
Kiernan Brisson  WCAX-TV
Lance MacKenzie  WCAX-TV
Olivia Lyons  WCAX-TV
Roger Garrity  WCAX-TV
Scott Fleishman WCAX-TV
Shelly Holt Allen  WCAX-TV
Abigail Fridmann WFFF/WVNY
Beth Jones WFFF/WVNY
Bob Rockstroh WFFF/WVNY
Brendan Boyle WFFF/WVNY
Brian Wallstin WFFF/WVNY
Brooke Devine WFFF/WVNY
Christian Plaud WFFF/WVNY
Courtney Adelman WFFF/WVNY
Courtney Kramer WFFF/WVNY
Devin Bates WFFF/WVNY
Glenn Cassie WFFF/WVNY
Haley Bouley WFFF/WVNY
Lauren LaDuke WFFF/WVNY
Lauren Maloney WFFF/WVNY
Mike Hoey WFFF/WVNY
Polikseni Manxhari WFFF/WVNY
Roy Mercon WFFF/WVNY
Spencer Conlin WFFF/WVNY
Spencer Thomas WFFF/WVNY
Steve Longchamp WFFF/WVNY
Alice Kang WPTZ/NBC 5
Amanda Levenson WPTZ/NBC 5
Bakari Clemons WPTZ/NBC 5
Brian Colleran WPTZ/NBC 5
Brian Happel WPTZ/NBC 5
Caitlyn Kuntz WPTZ/NBC 5
David Schneider WPTZ/NBC 5
Jack Korte WPTZ/NBC 5
Jackie Pascale WPTZ/NBC 5
Jailyn Anderson WPTZ/NBC 5
Jaime Brassard WPTZ/NBC 5
Jake Cookson WPTZ/NBC 5
Jen Harriger WPTZ/NBC 5
Josh Mitchell WPTZ/NBC 5
Ken Drake WPTZ/NBC 5
Kim Joyce WPTZ/NBC 5
Lee Anne Denyer WPTZ/NBC 5
Liz Strzepa WPTZ/NBC 5
Matt Blanchard WPTZ/NBC 5
Matt Leighton WPTZ/NBC 5
Michael LaFlesh WPTZ/NBC 5
Morgan Rugar WPTZ/NBC 5
Nate Reed WPTZ/NBC 5
Oli Birgisson WPTZ/NBC 5
Orrin Schonfeld WPTZ/NBC 5
Paris Von WPTZ/NBC 5
Ross Ketchke WPTZ/NBC 5
Sam Spaulding WPTZ/NBC 5
Stephanie Gorin WPTZ/NBC 5
Stewart Ledbetter WPTZ/NBC 5
Tom Garris WPTZ/NBC 5
Victoria Baldoni WPTZ/NBC 5
Zach Ribert WPTZ/NBC 5
Zuri Hoffman WPTZ/NBC 5
Policies for Courtrooms

Provisional media policies for individual Vermont courtrooms are now available below. The Judiciary is seeking feedback from members of the media before finalizing these provisional policies. Please review these policies and submit your feedback using the Vermont Courtroom Policies Feedback form.

Court Administrator’s Office staff will be scheduling in-person site visits to courtrooms requested to be visited by members of the media. The purpose of these site visits will be to enable members of the media to review courtroom-specific features, such as the assigned location for recording devices, for the purpose of offering feedback. Please complete the “Request a Site Visit” section of the feedback form to indicate which courtroom(s), if any, you would like to visit.

Please submit your request to visit a courtroom(s) by Friday, September 20, 2019. Following that date, Court Administrator’s Office staff will schedule site visits to all courtrooms members of the media have indicated an interest in visiting. Members of the media will be notified of the date, time, and location of all site visits. Only one visit per site will be scheduled. The Judiciary intends to finalize all provisional policies within two weeks of the last site visit.