Courts Turn To Cellphone Bans Despite Access Concerns

Such is the conundrum for litigants without lawyers in 56 Massachusetts trial court facilities with active cellphone bans, according to research published in July by the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law & Justice.

News Story (Massachusetts)

RJ Vogt
December 2, 2018

Tags: Access to Justice, Courts

Organizations mentioned/involved: Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice


And that warning applies beyond the individual Massachusetts courthouses that have instituted bans. In courtrooms across America, phones are often prohibited unless someone is an attorney, juror or court staffer, raising concerns that such policies make it that much harder for lower-income individuals to make court hearings and fully represent themselves in cases.

For example, Missouri’s 42nd Judicial Circuit bans parties and members of the public from bringing cellphones into the courtroom. In South Dakota’s Fourth Circuit, camera-equipped cellphones are not allowed in the courthouse. In Illinois, 48 out of 102 counties have banned cellphones and other electronic communications devices from courthouses.