CONCORD, N.C. — Beginning June 1st, Cabarrus Courthouse visitors will no longer be allowed to bring electronic devices into the building.
Court officials from Judicial District 19A have developed an administrative order that prohibits courthouse visitors from bringing in cellphones, computers, electronic tablets, cameras or other electronic devices capable of recording or transmitting sound or images. Visitors are encouraged to safely secure electronic devices in their vehicles to avoid issues.
The order came from a need to address courthouse security.
“This has been an issue for a considerable period of time and we’ve carefully weighed our options,” said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Marty McGee. “When cellphones and other recording devices are brought into the courthouse, it leads to concerns for the safety of witnesses, jurors, confidential informants and undercover officers. Courthouse recordings are a difficult thing to catch and it causes a distraction when court is in process.”
The decision follows the lead of many judicial districts that have already implemented similar bans, including Greensboro and High Point.
The ban does not apply to courthouse staff, licensed North Carolina attorneys, law enforcement officers and County and Court staff entering the building on official business.
According to the order, “For good cause, any person may seek authorization to bring technology into the courthouse from the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, the Chief District Court Judge or the Clerk of Superior Court or their designees. The Sheriff may provide authorization for good cause shown.”
Visitors who are involved in cases may seek authorization from the presiding judge to bring a restricted electronic device into the courtroom if necessary for court business.
Courthouse security, administered by Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, will address the ban as part of normal security procedures. “Violation of any provision of the order may be punished by sanctions, which may include contempt to the extent permitted by law,” the order reads.
Cabarrus County Courts has worked to inform residents about the ban through notifications to the local legal community, signage at the courthouse, correspondence to courthouse visitors and on Cabarrus County Television.