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Media Information

Standing Order 18-03, signed by Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, on October 15, 2018, governs protocol within the United States Courthouses in the District of South Dakota.
Section 4. of this order governs the use of cellular and electronic devices:

4. CELLULAR AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES. Except by permission of the presiding judge, no person shall photograph, videotape, televise, broadcast, or record, or cause to be photographed, videotaped, televised, broadcast, or recorded any courtroom proceeding, including proceedings of the grand jury. No person shall take any photographic, videotape, television, or sound recording equipment into (1) any courtroom except upon the express permission of the presiding judge, or (2) any jury room, or (3) any corridor on the floor on which a courtroom or jury room is located. This paragraph does not apply to (1) the official court reporter who may use a voice-recording device in connection with his or her official duties, or (2) the use of electronic means for the presentation of evidence or the perpetuation of the record as authorized by the presiding judge.

Cellular phones and electronic devices may be brought into courthouses in the United States District Court for South Dakota unless the presiding judge places restrictions on these devises. All cellular and electronic devices must be turned off in the courtroom and any corridor on the floor on which a courtroom or jury room is located unless specifically authorized by order of the court.

Cellular and electronic devices are devices capable of communicating, transmitting, receiving, or recording messages, images, sounds, data, or other information by any means, including, but not limited to, a computer tablet, cell phone, or Bluetooth device. Individuals who bring such devices into courtrooms may be asked by court security personnel to demonstrate that the device is turned off. Members of the Bar and employees of members of the Bar are exempt from this provision.

Use of any camera or sound recording devices in the courtroom or any corridor on the floor on which a courtroom or jury room is located is prohibited unless specifically authorized by order of the court.

However, an electronic device that is essential to a person's health or welfare (such as an insulin pump) may remain on in the courtroom.

News media personnel who possess recording devices shall be allowed entry into a court facility, provided the news media personnel are escorted through the building by a representative of the tenant agency being visited. If no tenant representative is available, entry with the recording devices shall be denied. In courthouses where jury and grand jury facilities are located contiguous to public access corridors, news media personnel will not be allowed to possess recording devices on the floors housing the jury and grand jury facilities during jury deliberations or grand jury sessions.

Photographic, videotape, television, and sound recording devices are permitted in courtrooms and in adjacent corridors to naturalization ceremonies, investitures, attorney admissions, and other ceremonial functions unless specifically prohibited by the presiding judge.

Special Permissions and Exceptions to the Standing Order:
Members of the media requesting special permissions or exceptions to the protocols in the Standing Order should complete and submit the form below. Requests must be submitted at least 5 days prior to the date of the hearing.

Electronics Use by the Media

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