Sunday, July 21, 2024

Information For Media

General Information [ + ]

Courtrooms generally are open to the public. Journalists do not need special credentials, other than government-issued photo identification - such as a driver's license - to enter the U.S. District courthouses in the Eastern District of Michigan (MIED).

Court-issued media credentials are also required to enter any MIED courthouse with a cell phone or to reserve a seat in high profile court hearings or trials. Complete our Application For Media Credentials and Cell Phone Privileges if you would like to apply.

Application for CM/ECF Media Accounts [ + ]

Interested members of the media can apply to create a media account that would allow the user to sign up to receive Notices of Electronic Filing (NEFs) in any cases of interest. The user must have a PACER account and all document links contained in NEFs would be subject to applicable PACER fees.

See our Application for CM/ECF Media Account for more information and to apply.

Rules for Cell Phones, Laptops, Notebooks, Cameras and Tape Recorders [ + ]

Journalists must have a court-issued credential to enter MIED courthouses with a cell phone. The cell phone must be in silent mode while in the courthouse and may not be used to take pictures or record sound without the permission of a judicial officer pursuant to Local Rule 83.32. Cell phones are not allowed in courtrooms without the permission of the presiding judge and may only be used and stored in designated areas.

Laptops, notebooks etc. are allowed in MIED courthouses without court-issued credentials, however they cannot not be used in any courtroom without the written approval of the presiding judge pursuant to Local Rule 83.32.

Journalists may use laptops in the Media Center of the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit and designated areas at divisional courthouses in Ann Arbor, Bay City, Flint and Port Huron.

Cameras, tape recorders or similar devices are prohibited in MIED courthouses without the permission of a judge and cannot be used in any courtroom or judicial proceeding without the permission of a judge, pursuant to Local Rule 83.31(c).

On rare occasions, a judge may authorize, by written notice to the United States Marshal, the use of recording equipment for investiture, ceremonial and naturalization proceedings.

Applying for Cell Phone Credentials [ + ]
Applying for Reserved Seating Credentials [ + ]
Media Center [ + ]

The Media Center at the Levin Courthouse in Detroit occupies Rooms 212 and 214. Room 214 has large screen television monitors to observe proceedings in selected cases, Wi-Fi and digital lockers to store personal items.

Court Records [ + ]

Most court records are in electronic format and are accessible through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records). PACER may be accessed in 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

Helpful Information [ + ]

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

Contact Us [ + ]

For information about criminal arraignments and appearances, contact the U.S. Attorney's Office at (313) 226-9100.

For media inquiries regarding court matters contact Stephen DeSmet, Chief Deputy of Operations at or (313) 234-5051.