Judge throws out observer for taking cellphone photo

2014-06-24T15:38:00Z 2014-06-24T16:02:31Z Judge throws out observer for taking cellphone photoPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Notices posted on the doors of courtrooms at Pima County Superior Court say cellphone use is prohibited. An attendee of morning court proceedings on Monday learned that judges take the prohibition seriously.

When a sentencing hearing in Judge Teresa Godoy’s courtroom was interrupted with the clicks of an iPhone camera, Godoy halted the proceeding to have her bailiff confiscate the female culprit’s cellphone.

The phone was later transferred into the custody of judicial security. The woman was later allowed to retrieve her phone from judicial security’s administrative office on the seventh floor.

Photography in the courthouse by the general public, particularly in courtrooms, is prohibited.

Media representatives are allowed to request to film or photograph court proceedings, with some limitations.

But even media must make a written request to the judge who will preside over the proceedings at least 48 hours in advance. The parties in the case are then notified of the request and can issue a challenge.

Ultimately, the judge rules on whether the media will be allowed to photograph the proceedings.

Judges often will impose limitations on the subjects of photography, typically prohibiting the photographing of jurors, court staff, victims in cases and members of the gallery in attendance.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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News and events of Pima County's courthouses.