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A09592 Summary:

MLTSPNSRCahill, Galef, Quart
Rpld & add §218, amd §751, Judy L; rpld §52, Civ Rts L
Relates to audio-visual coverage of judicial proceedings.
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A09592 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 17, 2022
        Introduced  by M. of A. WEPRIN -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. CAHILL,
          GALEF, QUART -- read once and referred to the Committee  on  Judiciary
          --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
          and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to audio-visual  coverage
          of  judicial  proceedings;  and to repeal section 218 of the judiciary
          law and section 52 of the civil rights law relating thereto
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section  218  of  the judiciary law is REPEALED and a new
     2  section 218 is added to read as follows:
     3    § 218. Audio-visual coverage of judicial  proceedings.  1.    Authori-
     4  zation.  Subject to the authority of the judge or justice presiding over
     5  the proceeding to exercise  sound  discretion  to  prohibit  filming  or
     6  photographing  of  particular  participants  in  judicial proceedings to
     7  ensure safety and the fair administration of justice,  audio-visual  and
     8  still  photography coverage of public judicial proceedings in the appel-
     9  late and trial courts of this state shall be allowed in accordance  with
    10  this section.
    11    2.  Equipment  and  personnel. The following shall be permitted in any
    12  trial or appellate court proceeding:
    13    (a) At least two compact video cameras, each operated by no more  than
    14  one camera person. Additional permitted cameras shall be within the sole
    15  discretion  and  authority  of  the  judge or justice presiding over the
    16  proceeding.
    17    (b) Not more than two still photographers, using  not  more  than  two
    18  still cameras each.
    19    (c)  Not  more  than  one  audio  system for radio broadcast purposes.
    20  Audio pickup for all media purposes shall be provided by existing  audio
    21  systems  present  in  the  courtroom.  If  no technically suitable audio
    22  system exists in the courtroom, microphones and related wiring essential
    23  for media purposes shall be permissible provided  they  are  unobtrusive
    24  and  shall  be located in places designated in advance of any proceeding
    25  by the judge or justice presiding over the proceeding.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 9592--A                          2
     1    (d) Any pooling arrangements among members  of  the  media  concerning
     2  equipment and personnel shall be the sole responsibility of such members
     3  without  calling upon the judge or justice presiding over the proceeding
     4  to mediate any dispute as to the  appropriate  media  representative  or
     5  equipment authorized to cover a particular proceeding. In the absence of
     6  advance  media  agreement  concerning  disputed  equipment  or personnel
     7  issues, the judge or justice presiding over the proceeding  may  exclude
     8  all contesting media personnel from a proceeding.
     9    3.  Livestreaming. (a) Within six months of the effective date of this
    10  section, and subject to appropriation  by  the  legislature,  the  chief
    11  administrator of the courts shall provide for:
    12    (i)  the installation and maintenance of cameras in all Supreme, Coun-
    13  ty, City, and Appellate courtrooms;
    14    (ii) the transmission of live  proceedings  on  a  publicly  available
    15  website, free of charge, in audio-visual form; and
    16    (iii) the preservation of all recordings in archival form on a public-
    17  ly available website for continued access, free of charge.
    18    (b)  Within eighteen months of the effective date of this section, and
    19  subject to appropriation by the legislature, the chief administrator  of
    20  the courts shall provide for:
    21    (i)  the  installation and maintenance of cameras in all Family, Town,
    22  and Village courtrooms;
    23    (ii) transmission of live proceedings on a publicly available website,
    24  free of charge, in audio-visual form; and
    25    (iii) preservation of all recordings in archival form  on  a  publicly
    26  available website for continued access, free of charge.
    27    4.  Sound  and  light  criteria.  Video and audio equipment, including
    28  still camera equipment, whether film or digital, shall not be  permitted
    29  if  it  produces  disorienting  sound  or  light. No artificial lighting
    30  device of any kind shall be used in connection with the video  equipment
    31  or still camera.
    32    5.  Location  of equipment personnel. Video camera equipment and still
    33  camera photographers shall be positioned in such location in the  court-
    34  room  as  shall  be  designated by the chief administrative judge of the
    35  court or the chief administrative judge's designee. The area  designated
    36  shall  provide  reasonable  access to coverage of the proceedings. Still
    37  camera photographers shall assume a fixed position within the designated
    38  area and shall not be permitted to move about to obtain  photographs  of
    39  court  proceedings. Media representatives shall not move about the court
    40  facility while proceedings are in session,  and  microphones  or  taping
    41  equipment shall not be moved during the pendency of the proceeding.
    42    6.  Equipment  movement during proceedings. News media photographic or
    43  audio equipment shall not be placed in or removed from the court facili-
    44  ty except before commencement or after adjournment of  proceedings  each
    45  day,  or  during a recess. Neither video cassettes or film magazines nor
    46  still camera film, digital media cards or lenses shall be changed within
    47  a courtroom except during a recess in the proceeding.
    48    7. Courtroom light sources. With the concurrence of the chief adminis-
    49  trative judge of the court, modifications and additions may be  made  in
    50  light  sources existing in the courtroom, provided such modifications or
    51  additions are installed and maintained without public expense.
    52    8. Conferences of counsel. To protect  the  attorney-client  privilege
    53  and  the  effective  right to counsel, there shall be no audio pickup or
    54  broadcast of conferences that occur in a courtroom between attorneys and
    55  their clients, between co-counsel of a client, or  between  counsel  and
    56  the presiding judge held at the bench.

        A. 9592--A                          3

     1    9.  Impermissible  use  of  media material. Film, digital files, vide-
     2  otape, still photographs, or audio reproductions  captured  or  recorded
     3  during  or  by  virtue of coverage of a judicial proceeding shall not be
     4  admissible as evidence in the proceeding out of which it arose,  in  any
     5  proceeding  subsequent  or collateral thereto, or upon retrial or appeal
     6  of such proceedings.
     7    10. Written order. An order  restricting  audio-visual  coverage  with
     8  respect  to a particular participant shall be in writing and be included
     9  in the record of such proceeding. The order must state  good  cause  why
    10  such  coverage  will have a substantial effect upon the individual which
    11  would be qualitatively different from  the  effect  on  members  of  the
    12  public  in  general and that such effect will be qualitatively different
    13  from coverage by other types of media. Before  prohibiting  audio-visual
    14  coverage,  the  presiding  judge  must  first consider the imposition of
    15  special limitations, such as a delayed or modified still or audio-visual
    16  coverage of the proceedings.
    17    11. Closing the courtroom. No audio-visual coverage  or  livestreaming
    18  will  be  permitted during any period in which the courtroom is lawfully
    19  closed to the general public in accordance with the  United  States  and
    20  New York Constitutions, New York law and court rules.
    21    12.  Appellate  review.  Interlocutory  review of an order restricting
    22  audio-visual coverage shall be expedited in accordance with the rules of
    23  the applicable appellate court.
    24    13. Regulations. The  provisions  of  this  act  shall  supersede  any
    25  provision to the contrary in Part 131 of the Rules of the Chief Adminis-
    26  trative  Judge,  22  NYCRR  Part  131, Part 29 of the Rules of the Chief
    27  Judge, 22 NYCRR Part 29, and any other court rule regarding audio-visual
    28  coverage of judicial proceedings.
    29    § 2. Section 52 of the civil rights law is REPEALED.
    30    § 3. Subdivision 5 of section 751 of the judiciary law,  as  added  by
    31  chapter 187 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
    32    5. Where any member of the [news] media as [defined in subdivision two
    33  of] referenced in section two hundred eighteen of this chapter, willful-
    34  ly disobeys a lawful mandate of a court issued pursuant to such section,
    35  the punishment for each day that such contempt persists may be by a fine
    36  fixed  in  the  discretion of the court, but not to exceed five thousand
    37  dollars per day or imprisonment, not exceeding thirty days, in the  jail
    38  of  the  county where the court is sitting or both, in the discretion of
    39  the court. In fixing the amount of the fine, the  court  shall  consider
    40  all  the  facts  and  circumstances  directly  related  to the contempt,
    41  including, but not limited to: (i) the extent of the willful defiance of
    42  or resistance to the court's mandate, (ii) the amount of  gain  obtained
    43  by  the  willful  disobedience of the mandate, and (iii) the effect upon
    44  the public and the parties to the proceeding of  the  willful  disobedi-
    45  ence.
    46    §  4.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    47  have become a law.
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