Electronic Device Policy

  • Except as authorized below or otherwise expressly authorized by the court, visitors are prohibited from bringing electronic devices into the courthouse or annex.

  • During court week only, lawyers and their staff in the courthouse and annex may possess, subject to security inspection, electronic devices, such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets, Blackberrys, pagers, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, or similar functioning devices.  Electronic devices must not be used to take photographs or for audio or video recording.  Devices that serve only as cameras or audio or video recorders are prohibited in the courthouse and annex absent express authorization by the court.

  • All electronic devices must be turned off in any courtroom or judicial chambers unless being used by counsel during oral argument of their case. Counsel may, without motion, use an electronic device in silent mode during argument of their case to retrieve documents previously downloaded to the device. Counsel may not use an electronic device to aid in the presentation of argument without prior motion and express leave of court.

  • A wireless Internet access point is available in the Fourth Circuit Library; public Internet or broadband access is not available elsewhere in the courthouse or annex.

  • The court may prohibit or further restrict electronic devices in the interests of security, safety, or the integrity of judicial proceedings.

  • Failure to adhere to this policy may result in removal from the courtroom, courthouse, or annex, or in the imposition of a fine or other sanction.