Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Information For Media

Media Information Officer

The Court's media liaison is Public Information Officer David Ashenfelter, who can be reached at (313) 234-5421 or David_Ashenfelter@mied.uscourts.gov.

Media Protocol

Courtrooms generally are open to the public, so journalists don't need any special credentials, other than government-issued photo identification - such as a driver's license - to get into federal U.S. District Courthouses in the Eastern District of Michigan. Journalists may be asked to produce a media credential issued by their employer to enter the courthouses with a laptop computer.

In high profile cases that are likely to attract large numbers of journalists, special court-issued media credentials are required to get a reserved seat in courtrooms or the media center in the Levin Courthouse. Court proceedings are live-streamed onto large television monitors in the media center enabling journalists to take notes and file stories with laptop computers via courthouse Wi-Fi. Laptop computers are not allowed in courtrooms. To cover cases at the Ann Arbor, Bay City, Flint or Port Huron courthouses with a laptop computer, contact the Court's Public Information Officer, David Ashenfelter, at 313-234-5421 or David_Ashenfelter@mied.uscourts.gov.

Click this link to view the Media Protocol for Coverage of High Profile Cases

Application For Media Credentials

Click this link to open the Application for Media Credentials

Access to Court Records

Most court records are in electronic format, so the most convenient way for the media to obtain information from them is through the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) database. It can be accessed at the Clerk's Office or by opening a PACER account. To open a PACER account, contact the PACER Service Center at (800) 676-6856 or go to https://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/pscof/regWizard.jsf.

Court employees are prohibited from publicly commenting about matters before the Court.

Media Room

The Court's media center occupies Rooms 212 and 214 of the Levin Courthouse courthouse. Journalists may use both rooms to file stories by laptop computer -- or by telephone if they have a land line installed at their own expense. Media companies may bring in a small filing cabinet (preferably with a lock) and have a phone line installed in Room 212 by contacting Court Services (313) 234-5055 to make the necessary arrangements.

Covering Federal Court

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has developed the following publications to introduce the media to the federal judicial system.

Understanding the Federal Courts

It provides an introduction to the federal judicial system, its organization and administration, and its relationship to the legislative and executive branches of the government.

A Journalist's Guide to the Federal Courts

It helps reporters understand how to cover federal district, bankruptcy, and appellate court, as well as the cases, the people and the process.

Media Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are cameras and recording equipment allowed in the courthouse?

  2. Are laptop computers allowed in federal court facilities?

  3. Are cellular phones, pagers and beepers permitted in the courthouse?

  4. Who should be contacted regarding questions about arraignments?

  5. Who should be contacted for additional information?