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LR 83.31 Conduct in Federal Court Facilities

(a) Security.

(1) As used in this rule, "federal court facility" includes any facility occupied by the United States District Court or the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, or any temporary facility occupied by a judicial officer of the Eastern District of Michigan.

(2) All persons entering a federal court facility are required to pass through a magnetometer and have all belongings and packages subject to physical and/or x-ray examination by the United States Marshals Service.

(3) All mail and packages addressed to any office within a federal court facility are subject to physical and/or x-ray examination by the United States Marshals Service.

(A) Except as provided in (B), sealed envelopes brought by courier may not be delivered to any office within a federal court facility. They must be given to a court security officer for processing in that facility's mail room.

(B) Sealed filings authorized by statute, rule, or court order in accordance with LR 5.3 must have the court order or notice of filing under seal affixed to the top of the sealed envelope. Such filings may be delivered to the clerk's office.

(b) Soliciting, Loitering and Disruptive Behavior.

(1) The solicitation of business relating to bail bonds or to employment as counsel is prohibited.

(2) Loitering in or about federal court facilities is prohibited.

(3) Any behavior which impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of the business of the court is prohibited. Cards, signs, placards, or banners may not be brought into any courtroom or its environs.

(c) Cameras and Recording Devices.

(1) The taking of photographs in connection with any judicial proceeding and the recording or broadcasting of judicial proceedings by radio, television or other means is prohibited.

(A) As used in this rule, "judicial proceeding" includes proceedings before district, bankruptcy or magistrate judges, and sessions of the grand jury.

(B) As used in this rule, "in connection with any judicial proceeding" includes all participants in a judicial proceeding while they are in a courtroom or its environs.

(2) A judicial officer may authorize, by written notice to the United States Marshal the use of electronic or photographic means for the presentation of evidence or for the perpetuation of the record.

(3) A district judge may authorize, by written notice to the United States Marshal:

(A) the broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing of investitive, ceremonial, or naturalization proceedings; and

(B) the radio or television broadcasting, audio or video recording or photographing of court proceedings pursuant to a resolution of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

(d) Firearms and Weapons.

(1) Firearms, knives, explosives, and other weapons are prohibited from federal court facilities and subject to confiscation.

(2) Exceptions to this rule may include:

(A) the United States Marshal, deputy marshals, court security officers, and employees of the Federal Protective Service in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 930(d);

(B) federal law enforcement agencies having offices in a federal court facility are exempt from the provisions regarding the carrying of weapons while entering the building and while going to and from the floor where their offices are located; or

(C) state, county, and local law enforcement officers who are:

(i) escorting prisoners to and from court under the direction of the United States Marshals Service, or

(ii) assisting the Marshals Service by supporting or providing additional security, as directed, in and around federal court facilities.

(3) All other federal, state or local law enforcement officers are required to identify themselves and store their weapons at the office of the United States Marshal.

(4) The handling of firearms as exhibits in trials is governed by an administrative order authorized by the court.

(5) An exception to this Rule regarding weapons or firearms may only be made by the Chief Judge or the Judge in whose courtroom the proceedings are occurring.

(e) Laptop Computers. Laptop computers are permitted in federal court facilities, but may not be used in any courtroom without the written permission of the appropriate judicial officer.

(f) Cellular Telephones and Other Communication Devices.

(1) Policy Governing Non-Attorneys. Except as provided in (2) and other court orders, cellular telephones and any other device with wireless communication capabilities, hereinafter "phones", are not permitted in federal court facilities.

(2) Policy Governing Attorneys. An attorney appearing in connection with any judicial proceeding or presenting evidence of bar membership may bring a phone into a federal court facility. The United States Marshal, his deputies, and court security officers may demand from any individual in possession of a phone identification in aid of enforcement of this rule, and if the identification does not satisfy the officer that the person in possession of a phone is authorized in accordance with the terms of this rule to bring the phone or use it in a court space, the officer may refuse admittance to any person in possession of a phone. The following conditions shall apply:

(A) the phone may not be used and must be turned off except in designated areas of the court facility; and

(B) the phone cannot be initiated, "answered," examined or otherwise manipulated while in a courtroom; and

(C) the phone may be used for communication only in posted designated areas; and

(D) any camera-like function or audio recording capability of a phone is subject to the provisions of (c) of this Rule (i.e, strictly prohibited except with the specific permission of the court).

(3) District Judge Authority. A district judge may institute another policy in his or her courtroom, including requiring that attorneys store their cellular telephones in chambers during court proceedings. A district judge located in a court facility at a duty station away from the Theodore Levin Courthouse in Detroit, Michigan may make appropriate orders regulating the possession and use of phones in the buildings in which he or she presides.

(4) Co-located Court Facilities. Court facilities in the Eastern District of Michigan that are co-located with other government agencies shall be governed by this rule concerning the possession and use of phones in all court spaces, and the rules prescribed herein shall take precedence over other rules applicable elsewhere in the building.

(5) Violations.

(A) Attorney Discipline. An attorney violating this rule may be subject to discipline, including debarrment, in accordance with Local Rule 83.22.

(B) Confiscation. A violation of this rule, including without limitation unauthorized possession of a phone, use of a phone in an unauthorized space, possession of a phone in an audible mode, and failing to turn off a phone when required, SHALL result in immediate confiscation of the phone. Any judicial officer may order confiscation of a phone. Any United States Marshal or Deputy Marshal or court security officer may also confiscate a phone.

(C) Contempt of Court. A violation of this rule may be punished as criminal contempt of court. A violation that disrupts a judicial proceeding may be punished by summary proceedings.

(6) Relief from Confiscation of a Phone. An attorney whose phone has been confiscated may apply in writing within twenty-eight (28) days after confiscation for return of the phone. The application shall be made to the judicial officer whose proceedings were disturbed by the violation, or, if there is no such judicial officer, to the chief judge. The judicial officer may grant or refuse the request. If the judicial officer determines that no violation of this rule occurred, he or she shall order the phone returned. If a violation has occurred and the request for return is granted, the judicial officer shall assess an appropriate monetary payment as a condition of returning the phone. Confiscated phones that are not returned, either because no request has been made within the time provided or the request for return has been denied, shall be disposed of in a manner directed by the chief judge.

(7) Consent to Provisions. Any attorney bringing in a phone shall be determined to have consented to the provisions of this rule.

(g) Communication Devices. Communication devices (tape and audio recorders and devices and dictating devices) are prohibited from federal court facilities unless otherwise ordered by a judge in a particular case.

(h) Pagers; Beepers. Pagers and beepers are permitted in federal court facilities, but must be programmed to an inaudible mode.

(i) Access to Federal Court Facilities Outside of Regular Court Hours.

(1) A judicial officer is responsible for all aspects of conducting a judicial proceeding outside of regular court hours. This rule supplements and does not limit the authority of the judicial officer.

(2) If any person in attendance at an initial appearance conducted in a federal court facility outside of regular court hours is aware of the presence of persons outside the facility who wish to attend the proceeding, such person should advise the judicial officer promptly and prior to commencement of the proceeding.

(3) If the judicial officer is aware that there are persons outside the facility who wish to attend the proceeding, the judicial officer should then confer with the United States Marshal (or designee) to determine whether court security officers and/or deputy marshals must be summoned to ensure the security of the facility and the safety of those already present if the persons outside are allowed to enter. This determination will take into account the requirement of this rule that all persons entering the facility must pass through the magnetometer as well as the need to ensure that the persons who enter do not have unrestricted access to areas of the facility other than the courtroom in which the judicial proceeding is to take place.

(4) The United States Marshal (or designee) may confer with any law enforcement officers who are present to determine whether there are a sufficient number of such officers already in the facility for security purposes. The United States Marshal (or designee) may exercise, in his or her discretion, one of the following options:

(A) utilize federal law enforcement officers already present in the facility to assume the additional duties involved in providing adequate security; or

(B) summon court security officers or deputy marshals to the facility for the purpose of providing adequate security.

(5) If adequate security arrangements are not possible that will allow for a court proceeding to take place without unnecessary delay, the judicial officer may proceed to conduct the initial appearance of the defendant or material witness without ordering that any persons outside the facility be allowed to enter and attend. If any persons are excluded, the judicial officer at the outset of the initial appearance will place on the record the actions taken and the reasons for these actions. The parties who are present shall be permitted to place any objections on the record.

(j) Compliance.

(1) The United States Marshals Service, or any judicial officer sua sponte, and the custodians of federal court facilities may enforce this rule, or

(2) the United States Attorney may require any person who violates this rule to appear before a judge of this court to answer to a charge of contempt.

July 1, 2008


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