Chief Judge Bans Cell Phones in Courthouses

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessCircuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans announced beginning January 14, 2013, the public will not be permitted to bring cell phones and other electronic devices into any Circuit Court of Cook County courthouse facility except for the Richard J. Daley Center Courthouse. The ban will affect only those courthouse facilities in which criminal matters are heard. Included in the ban are all electronic devices capable of connecting to the Internet or making audio or video recordings, including laptops and tablet computers.

Chief Judge Evans said, “Judges brought their concerns to me that people attending court proceedings were using their cell phones to photograph witnesses, judges, jurors, and prospective jurors. They also said persons appeared to be texting testimony to witnesses waiting their turn to testify outside the courtroom, while others were attempting to stream live to media comments by judges from the bench.” Anyone violating the ban could face prosecution for contempt of court.

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