All media guidelines are subject to Florida Supreme Court Rule of Judicial Administration 2.450, Technological Coverage of Judicial Proceedings, which delineates procedures and accommodations to ensure full access to the courthouse without compromising the right of any litigant to a fair and orderly trial and to preserve the peace and ensure the safety and security of persons and property. In addition, media guidelines are subject to Administrative Order S-2007-038, Photographing, Recording or Broadcasting in Courthouse Facilities, which delineates local procedures in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.
The Court Administrator has designated a member of the staff to serve as court Public Information Officer and
Media Liaison. They are responsible for:
- communicating placement of camera equipment based on the discretion of the judge
- conveying general messages to media from the judge
To request a camera in a courtroom, contact Kirby Jungers, Facilities Director, (813) 276-6188 or submit Camera Request Form.
For general information about the courts contact Kim Cash, Court Communications Liason, 813-272-5421.
Photography in the Courthouse
Photography is generally prohibited in the lobbies, hallways and public spaces in the Edgecomb courthouse, the Annex and the Plant City Courthouse before 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Photography is allowed outside the Media Room in the Annex, in a specified area of the Edgecomb lobby and outside the buildings as long as the entranceways are not blocked.
The local media selects a Media Pool Coordinator with whom the Administrative Office of the Courts’ staff/contractors can consult. The pool rotates numerically on a daily basis when handling "high profile" cases or those requiring continuous coverage. The rotation will be as follows:
- Channel 8 NBC
- Channel 9 Bay News 9
- Channel 10 CBS
- Channel 13 FOX
- Channel 28 ABC
The Media Pool Coordinator announces the schedule and sends it to each assignment desk; should there be an issue with staffing, the stations have the prerogative to work that out among themselves as to “trading” days. In addition to the pooling arrangement for trial days, pool responsibilities are dispersed for other “reaction” interviews after a verdict, i.e. b-roll, cover footage outside the courthouse.
Guidelines for Cameras in Courtrooms
Equipment and camera operators must be ready to record prior to the court proceeding. Equipment must not be installed, moved or removed from the courtroom while court is in session. Camera operators may not move around the courtroom while court is in session.
As a professional courtesy, please do not photograph jurors or give the appearance of photographing jurors. Please do not identify jurors until the conclusion of a trial and then only with their permission.
There shall be no audio coverage of conferences between attorneys and clients, or between co-counsel and clients or parties, or between counsel and the judge held at the bench. There shall be no extended coverage of any conference or proceedings held in the chambers of a judge or any in camera proceedings.
Still and video photographers must not photograph within view of the security entrance of the courthouse.
Additional guidelines are available by the Florida Supreme Court Rule of Judicial Administration 2.450 and by Administrative Order S-2007-038, Photographing, Recording or Broadcasting in Courthouse Facilities.
During recess, stations have the opportunity to download/upload feed in the Media Room from the affiliate that serves as the pool camera. In addition to Courtroom One, the Criminal Justice & Trial division, General Civil division, County Civil division and County Criminal division courtrooms have been wired by the media to transmit audio and video feeds to the Media Room. Up to two trials or proceedings can be monitored at one time.
Public Wireless Internet Access
Free, secure and open wireless internet access is available throughout the Edgecomb Courthouse, the Criminal Courthouse Annex and Plant City Courthouse buildings. No authentication is required. Devices connected to this network cannot detect another device.
- Enable Wi-Fi on your device and choose the “PublicInet” network