Cameras in the Idaho Courtroom

Special Rules for Cameras, Recording Equipment

The Idaho Supreme Court has adopted Idaho Court Administrative Rule 45 for the use of cameras and recording equipment in the courtroom.

The presiding judge authorizes and may revoke the use of cameras and other recording equipment at any time without prior notice. The judge’s decision cannot be appealed.

Additionally:

  • Approval to photograph or video, audio record and/or broadcast a court
    proceeding must be obtained in advance from the presiding judge. A sample
    request form for reference only is included in the Appendix to this Guide. A
    form requesting permission to photograph proceedings, video record and/or
    broadcast a proceeding can be found online at:

ICAR 45 Form

  • Unless the judge specifically allows for more, only one still photographer and one camera operator will be allowed in the courtroom. Be sure that news organizations have arranged for pooling before a proceeding begins..
  • The judge will indicate where to sit. Be in position at least 15 minutes before court begins. Do not move around during the proceeding.
  • Never photograph or videotape the jury, including during jury selection (“voir dire”).
  • Photographers may not use artificial lighting, electronic flashes, external motor drives on cameras, or do fast, random shooting.
  • The judge will determine where audio equipment is placed. Only one set of microphones for all the media present will be allowed.
  • Video or television cameras cannot indicate when they are running.
  • Conversations in the courtroom between attorneys and their clients, between attorneys for a client, or between attorneys and the presiding judge at the bench (“sidebars”) may not be broadcast.
  • Media may not photograph or record exhibits or notes on the counsel’s table before they are admitted into evidence.
  • Sessions in the judge’s chambers or the jurors’ deliberations may not be recorded or broadcast.
  • Special rules apply to appellate courts. Contact the clerk of the Supreme Court at (208) 334-2210 for specifics.
  • Photographers are requested to utilize equipment that will minimize noise to reduce the possibility of a disruption of the proceedings. Motor drive cameras for example, could potentially be very noticeable to courtroom participants and should be avoided.
  • The Idaho Press Club Web site includes a page titled “Cameras in the Idaho Courtroom” at http://idahopressclub.org. Refer to it for further guidance.
  • Idaho’s trial courtrooms will have certain areas that lend themselves to placing a still or television camera. The objective of camera placement will be to facilitate reasonable coverage of the courtroom without unduly intruding on the proceedings.
  • The Idaho Supreme Court courtroom includes a second level balcony, which faces the bench and from which cameras may cover the entire courtroom.