Maryland Law

Cell Phones Allowed in Maryland Court Facilities Per Rules Adopted October 20, 2010

The rules proposed by the 165th Report of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure were adopted, some with amendments, by the Maryland Court of Appeals today, October 20, 2010.

New Rule 16-110 would allow cell phones and other electronic devices to be brought into Maryland court facilities.  A camera is included in the definition of  an “electronic device.”    Although electronic devices can be brought into a court facility there are still restrictions on their use.  Electronic devices can be used to send and receive phone calls and electronic messages and for any other lawful purpose.  There can be no use of cameras or recording equipment  in a court facility except in accordance with the rules and an electronic device shall not interfere with court proceedings or the work  of court personnel.  Violation of provisions of the rule governing certain uses could result in the confiscation and retention of the electronic device by security personnel.

Rule 16-109 was changed to reflect provisions of new rule 16-110.  Other rules  changed per this rules order were 1-322, 4-216, 2-242, 5-404, 5-804,  16-901, and Rule 13 of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Maryland.  The rules order can be found at the Maryland Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure website.

A binder containing copies of Rules Orders that are not yet in the West or Lexis rules volumes is kept on the shelf with the rules.

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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