Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Court amends public accessibility, other rules
The Indiana Supreme Court has revised its administrative and appellate rules governing how trial courts make records publicly accessible and how appeals are handled in certain cases requiring confidentiality.

An order dated Oct. 6 dictates access to court records and says trial courts may manage access to audio and video recordings of its proceedings to the extent that may be deemed appropriate and not interfering with court operations. Justices reached a decision on the issue late last week during a weekly conference.


"This doesn't
attempt to create a formula," Justice Dickson said. "It's basically an
operational call by the clerk, and the clerk is to come up with what
they find appropriate for designations to meet the rule and comply with
statutory obligations."

In the order, the court also amended its
rule regarding court record security and added commentary that includes
examples of what judges can do to ensure recordings aren't altered.

court is required to preserve the integrity of audio and video
recordings of court proceedings," the rule states, adding that options
include supervised playback for listening or copying, creating a copy
of the record for use during playback, and notifying the involved
parties about the accessed record.

Rule revisions take effect Jan. 1, 2009.
The new rules are here (in PDF format).