Can I Use a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device in Court? | Maryland Courts | Andalman & Flynn Law Firm
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Can I Use a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device in Court?

Jul 27, 2017 | Maryland Law

In a circuit court or a district court in Maryland, a person may bring and use an electronic device including a cell phone, a computer, a camera, and any other device that is capable of transmitting, receiving, or recording messages, images, sounds, data, or other information by electronic means. The use of such an electronic device is subject to inspection by court security personnel and is subject to some additional restrictions.

Keep reading to learn more about restrictions on using electronic devices in Maryland courts.

Restrictions on Use of Electronic Devices in Court

An electronic device may not be used to violate an order precluding disclosure to a witness of the nature, substance, or purpose of testimony, exhibits, or other evidence introduced during the witness’s absence. Further, except in limited circumstances, such an electronic device may not be used to take, record, or transmit a photograph, video, or other visual image in a court facility. Although generally permission will be granted for taking photographs at ceremonial functions, it is advisable to secure permission before attempting to take a photograph or video within a court facility.

Unless otherwise given permission by a presiding judge, an electronic device should not be used within a courtroom or within a jury deliberation room. In no event should an electronic device be used to interfere with court proceedings or the work of court personnel. If the circumstances of a particular case raise special security or privacy issues that justify a restriction on the possession of electronic devices, the presiding judge place further limits on the possession of electronic devices in a courtroom or court facility.

Individual courts may place additional limitations on the use of electronic devices within the court facility or within certain areas of a court facility. Look for posted signs and notices before using an electronic device within a court facility.

Consequences for Improper Use of Electronic Devices in Court

Security personnel or other court personnel may confiscate and retain an electronic device that is misused and, in certain circumstances, the misuse of an electronic device including a cell phone, a computer, a camera, can result in a finding of contempt.

Have Questions? Contact Andalman & Flynn Today

Our experienced lawyers at Andalman & Flynn are familiar with the various district and circuit courts in Maryland and are knowledgeable regarding the protocols for court facilities and for attending court proceedings. Whether you have questions about a court process or protocol, contact us online today. For a consultation, call (301) 563-6685, or toll-free at 1-888-558-7871.

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