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RULE §155.411Media Coverage and Use of Recording Devices

(a) When coverage is permitted. Proceedings that are open to the public may be photographed or recorded, whether for broadcast or personal use, in a manner that does not interfere with the orderly conduct of the proceeding, unduly distract participants, or impair the dignity of the proceedings. A person desiring to photograph or record a SOAH proceeding must notify the judge before doing so. Photographing or recording in a covert manner is prohibited.

(b) Recording or photographing any of the following is prohibited:

  (1) proceedings that are closed to the public;

  (2) conferences between an attorney and client, witness, or aide, or between attorneys;

  (3) bench conferences or other deliberations of the judge(s); or

  (4) other privileged or confidential communications.

(c) Authority of presiding judge.

  (1) The judge may deny, limit, or terminate any recording or photographing that does not comply with this section.

  (2) No proceeding will be delayed or continued for the sole purpose of facilitating recording or photographing the proceeding.

(d) Equipment and personnel. The judge may specify the placement of media personnel and equipment to permit reasonable coverage or recording without disruption to the proceeding. Unless the judge orders otherwise, the following standards apply to the placement and operation of media equipment:

  (1) If media coverage is sought by more than one person or entity, the judge may require a pool system to be used. It will be the responsibility of the media to resolve any disputes among themselves as to which personnel will operate equipment in the hearing room.

  (2) Equipment shall not produce distracting sound or light. Moving lights, flash attachments, or sudden lighting changes are prohibited.

  (3) Operators shall not move equipment while the hearing is in session or otherwise cause a distraction. All equipment shall be in place in advance of the commencement of the proceeding.

  (4) Media personnel operating outside the hearing room shall not create a distraction and shall withdraw whenever necessary to avoid restricting movement of persons passing through the hearing room door.

Source Note: The provisions of this §155.411 adopted to be effective November 26, 2008, 33 TexReg 9451; amended to be effective January 1, 2017, 41 TexReg 8593

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