Guilford Co. courthouse cell phone ban begins Feb. 3

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — All cell phones and other electronics will be banned from both the Greensboro and High Point Courthouses beginning Feb. 3.

The ban will include cell phones, tablets, computers, still photography cameras, and other Internet and electronic communication devices with any photographic, video, or voice recording capability.

There are only six exemptions to this electronic device prohibition:

1. An individual who displays a valid and current identification card authorizing entry to the courthouse passing through either the employee or public entrance security will be exempted from this prohibition.

2. An attorney who displays written permission to bring such devices into the courthouses issued by a Resident Superior Court Judge, A Resident District Court Judge of a judge of the Superior or District Court authorized to hold court in Guilford County.

3. A private individual who displays written permission issued by a Resident Superior Court Judge, A Resident District Court Judge of a judge of the Superior or District Court authorized to hold court in Guilford County that has evidence stored on such a device or a person having a particularized need for such a device.

4. A Federal, State, and local N.C. law enforcement or probation and parole officer who displays his or hers valid identification and current credentials as such.

5. Any individual who displays a current jury summons and who is entering in response to such summons.

6. A judge, commissioner, deputy commissioner or other public official of a governmental agency entering the courthouse for the purpose of conducting court or an official hearing and who displays his or hers current and valid credentials as such.

All other administrative orders that prohibit the possession and use of such communication and recording devices remain in effect without change.

All electronic news media outlets must contact the Trial Court Administrator, preferably giving 24 hours of advance notice, to seek permission to record or photograph any proceedings within Guilford County Courthouses but which will remain subject to the judicial discretion of the presiding Judge.

9 comments

  • Chris

    And who gave them this authority??
    Are the courts not of the people , by the people, and for the people?
    Should this ban not have subject to a PUBLIC referendum?

  • Chucky1992

    If the people who attended court followed instructions when they entered the courtrooms to turn off their devices then this move would not have been necessary. Every day I have someone who, despite my announcement to turn them off, either ignores me completely or puts them on silent. It’s not the same thing. By the way, do you want your trial recorded by persons unknown? Most of the devices that are being banned are capable of recording and it is forbidden by law unless given permission by the seated judge.

  • FaithC

    If you are a witness, do you want someone taking your picture? This could also be an issue for those who are there as a victim of domestic abuse. People can live without their cell phones for a while.

  • MadamM

    Faith, your “logic” is impeccable, once again. The identities of witnesses are always public, except in rare circumstances.

    • Chucky1992

      Those who are able to have the cell phones pay just as much of their own salary as you might Mark and they wouldn’t mind a raise since it has been 5 years since the last one.

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