The Michigan Supreme Court is committed to educating the public about the justice system. To that end, the Court encourages the public to attend oral arguments and public hearings, and encourages journalists to cover those Court proceedings. The Court also asks journalists and members of the public to show respect for parties, attorneys, courtroom observers, and the justice system by observing proper decorum.
Film or electronic coverage of Supreme Court proceedings
The Michigan Supreme Court follows the procedure outlined in the Michigan Supreme Court's Administrative Order 1989-1
Please review this procedure before making a request for film or electronic coverage of oral arguments and hearings.
Media may not conduct any interviews of parties, attorneys, or any other persons in the Supreme Court courtroom. Interviews may not be conducted at or near the courtroom doors. Media should contact the Office of Public Information in advance to find out if the Court will permit media to conduct interviews in the courtroom lobby or elsewhere in the Hall of Justice.
Public access to Michigan court proceedings
As of May 1, 2003, a Michigan state court "may not limit access by the public to a court proceeding" unless the court finds that "a specific interest to be protected" outweighs the right of public access (Rule 8.116
.). The court must also find that "there is no less restrictive means to adequately and effectively protect the interest." The rule also permits "any person" to challenge the court's decision to limit public access.
Out of courtesy for the Court, attorneys, parties, and speakers at public hearings, all in the courtroom should remain quiet and avoid disrupting the proceedings. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off or placed on "silent" or "vibrate" mode. Do not move around the courtroom or repeatedly exit and enter the room. Do not bring food or beverages into the courtroom.
The Court has discretion to admonish anyone who disrupts courtroom proceedings, and to order the removal of anyone who does not comply with the Court's request for proper courtroom behavior. Distribution of printed material, such as brochures and flyers, is prohibited both in the courtroom and in the Hall of Justice.