The mission of the Public Information Office is to provide accurate information to citizens and the media in a timely manner.
For all media inquiries, contact Sean McDermott, Public Information Officer, at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]
In determining which information may be released to the media, the Office is guided by Rules 3.6 and 3.8(e) of the Supreme Court’s Rules of Professional Conduct, which may limit the amount, timing, or detail of information released.
Rule 5 – Local Rules of Practice of the Criminal Court for Knox County, Tennessee
1. Request for media coverage must be made, in writing, to the Clerk at least two days before the trial or hearing to be covered.
2. No photographs, videotaping, or any other method of capturing the images of jurors will be permitted.
3. No photographs, videotaping, or any other method of capturing the images of minors will be permitted.
4. The hallway behind the Court is considered part of chambers and no photography, interviews, or any journalistic activity will be allowed there.
Rule 22 – Local Rules of Practice for the General Sessions Court for Knox County, Tennessee
Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 30, the following procedures have been adopted by the General Sessions Court for Knox County in order to facilitate the media coverage contemplated by the rules.
1. Requests for Media Coverage
Media requests for coverage of a particular proceeding shall be made in writing to both the Presiding Judge and Clerk of Court not later than 4:30 PM on the third business day before the event to be covered. The Clerk shall immediately notify all counsel of record of the request for coverage.
2. Media Liaison
Upon receipt of a second medium request for coverage of the same proceeding, the Court Clerk shall require the second media to provide the name, business address, telephone number, and FAX number of the media liaison responsible for organizing all media that wish to cover the proceeding. Failure of the media to name and cooperate with a media liaison may result in the prohibition of any photographic or recording equipment in the courtroom (except small hand held battery operated tape recorders.) The Clerk of Court shall immediately notify all counsel of record of the name, address, phone number, and FAX number of the media liaison.
3. Pooling Arrangements
Not later than 4:30 PM on the business day before the proceeding to be covered, the media liaison shall provide in writing, to the Presiding Judge, notice of the pooling arrangements that have been made. This shall include specific descriptions of all equipment intended for use in the courtroom, its intended location in the courtroom, and the name of each media entity that operates said equipment.
4. Operation of Equipment
All equipment should be battery powered to eliminate the use of wires, cables, and leads that pose a hazard for people to trip over. If the anticipated length of the proceeding is so great as to make battery powered equipment impractical, all wires, cables, and leads shall be placed against baseboards of walls, taped down, or otherwise placed to minimize or eliminate the hazard of tripping over them.
All equipment requiring installation shall be installed before the Court commences the proceeding to be covered. All equipment take-down or dismantling shall take place during recess or after the Court has adjourned for the day.
All photographic equipment shall be situated so as to produce the point of view of the audience. Under no circumstances, unless expressly permitted by the Presiding Judge, are any cameras, still or otherwise, to be taken beyond the Bar of the Court.
5. Courtroom Decorum
All media personnel will conduct themselves quietly and respectfully in the Courtroom. In the event the Presiding Judge orders that a particular witness, juror, or other not be photographed, or that one or more cameras be turned off, said order will be followed without debate. Arguing with the Judge as well as disobeying the Judge will constitute grounds for terminating any or all photography of the proceeding.
6. Incorporation of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 30
In all remaining aspects, media coverage of Courtroom proceedings shall be governed by the letter and intent of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 30.