Tuesday, November 19, 2019


Media Protocol for High Profile Cases

Reserved Seating Credentials

The Court will issue reserved seating credentials for courtrooms and media centers in high profile hearings or trials that will attract a large number of journalists.

The credentialing system is designed to allow one representative from each media organization to sit in the courtroom and an additional representative to sit in the Media Center at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit or designated conference room at divisional courthouses in Ann Arbor, Bay City, Flint or Port Huron.

Media representatives without reserve seating credentials may sit in an overflow courtroom if one is provided. Media rooms and overflow courtrooms are equipped with large screen television monitors so spectators can observe proceedings in the main courtroom.

Reserve seating credentials will be provided for journalists who are employed by a recognized news organization. Book authors, freelance writers, and talk show hosts generally will not qualify. Some applicants may be required to submit information to support their qualifications. The Court retains absolute authority to determine whether any organization or individual is granted a reserve seating credential.

Spectators generally are permitted to leave a courtroom as needed but cannot reenter until a break in the proceedings. Judges may adopt more restrictive procedures in high profile cases.

Media seating in the courtroom and media center will be monitored by the Public Information Officer, Court staff and Court Security Officers.

Depending upon the case, a judge may issue an order governing media and public conduct, courtroom procedure and decorum. Such orders are filed in PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records), the federal court’s computerized docketing system, and posted on the Court’s website.

Click this link to open Application for Reserved Seating Credentials for High Profile Cases