The Indiana Supreme Court is lifting the longtime statewide ban on cameras for trials and other hearings in county courtrooms.
An order issued Wednesday will give local judges the option on whether to allow news media to broadcast, record or take photographs of courtroom proceedings. The new rules take effect May 1.
Cameras were first allowed in state Supreme Court hearings in 1996 and those proceedings started being streamed online a few years later. But previous attempts to convince officials to allow cameras in trial courts have failed to win approval before a four-month pilot project by five local judges started in December.
“This is the culmination of years of work and pilot projects with discussion and evaluation,” Chief Justice Loretta Rush said in a statement. “Trial court judges are in the best position to determine how to balance the importance of transparency while protecting the rights of people involved in a court matter.”
The Supreme Court’s order limits the use of cameras and recording to news media staff and prohibits images of violent crime victims, minors, jurors and those witnesses with safety concerns.