Cell Phones, Laptops, and Other Electronic Devices

Visitors may keep an electronic device (e.g., cell phone, laptop, iPhone, iPod, MP3 player, tablet, iPad, smart watch, etc.) in the courthouse and annex if the device does not have a camera (still or video) or is not capable of recording audio.
Subject to Section IV, the following individuals are allowed to bring electronic devices with camera and recording capabilities into the courthouse and annex:
  • Members of the Bar - Attorneys who display a bar identification card or other proof of membership of the bar of the Court of Appeals, District Court, or D.C. Bar.
  • Jurors - Jurors who display a juror summons or juror pass issued by the Jury Office.
  • Members of the Media - Members of the media who are credentialed by either Court for a high-profile trial or who are credentialed by another federal or D.C. government entity, including the Supreme Court, Congress, a federal agency, or the D.C. government.
  • Parole Commission Hearing Examiners - Individuals who display their credentials as Parole Commission hearing examiners are allowed to bring into the courthouse electronic devices with camera and recording capabilities and recording equipment used to record hearings.
All other visitors must check their electronic devices with cameras or recording capabilities at the entrances unless authorized in advance and in writing by a judge or court executive.
All electronic devices with cellular or WiFi capability must be turned off or put in airplane mode before entering a courtroom. No transmissions are permitted from a courtroom.
See also Policy Guidelines for the Use of Cameras and Recording and Videotaping Devices in the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse and the William B. Bryant Annex (as amended March 3, 2008).

Effective: April 9, 2007
Amended: November 23, 2009
Amended: October 13, 2016