Are phones and other electronic devices allowed in the courthouses?
Cell phones are allowed in all federal courthouses within the Northern District of Alabama. However, while it is not the default posture of the Court, individual judges maintain the discretion to prohibit electronic devices of any kind for any setting in which they are presiding. Local Rule 83.2 prohibits broadcasting or the taking of photographs in or from the courtrooms or their environs during the progress of, or in connection with, any judicial proceeding.
Will the Court provide Press Credentials to bring electronic devices into a courthouse?
An individual Media Plan is prepared for pending cases with increased media interest. In limited cases, specified electronic devices may be disallowed for admission to a courthouse. In those instances, a process to obtain Press Credentials and additional guidance will be publicly provided.
May I use my press credentials from another District or from the outlet I work for to carry electronics into the courthouse?
No. When Press Credentials are a requirement to bring electronic devices into a courthouse, all requestors must be credentialed for the Northern District of Alabama.
How can I find documents and other information in a particular case?
This Court uses an electronic case filing system (Case Management / Electronic Case Files or “CM/ECF” system). Public information entered into CM/ECF is available through PACER. PACER is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal bankruptcy, district, and appellate courts, and from the U.S. Party/Case Index. Links to PACER and a free PACER training site are below.
How can I access the transcript for a specific court proceeding?
For pre-release access to transcripts, they may be purchased through the individual court reporter covering each proceeding before the court. To request a transcript, please contact the Chief Deputy Clerk, Joseph Musso, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, transcripts may be viewed through PACER or at a public terminal in each courthouse, after being released. Transcripts are released on PACER 90 days after being docketed.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has published "A Journalist's Guide to the Federal Courts", which is intended to assist representatives of the media assigned to court coverage. Additional FAQs may be found here.
The Federal Judicial Center (FJC) is the education and research agency for the federal courts. The FJC website contains the results of research on federal court operations and procedures and court history, and selected educational materials produced for judges and court employees.