LOCK HAVEN — Cellphones and other electronic devices are no longer allowed past security check points in Clinton County Court buildings.
This new order came from President Judge Craig P. Miller on Tuesday afternoon.
“Electronic devices are banned from every court facility. Any person in possession of an electronic device is prohibited from entering a court facility,” Miller said.
Storage lock boxes have been placed in these facilities for visitors to place their devices in during their visit.
In his order, Miller listed the exceptions to this order. They are:
— State Court and Clinton County employees with proper identification badges. “Employees shall produce their identification badge upon request, and if an employee cannot or refuses to do so, the employee will be treated as a member of the general public — screened and prohibited from bringing any electronic device into the building,” the order said.
— Law enforcement officers conducting business in any court facility. “Law enforcement in uniform displaying a badge of authority will be permitted entry with an electronic device. Law enforcement in plain clothes must present a badge of authority or Clinton County identification card in order to be permitted entry with an electronic device,” the order said.
— Attorneys who present photo ID and sufficient documentation that they will be permitted entry with an electronic device without further screening by court security.
— Individuals regularly conducting court-related business in any court facility who present an approved pass and photo identification will be permitted entry with a device but is subject to full screening. “Prior to being issued a pass, an individual will be required to identify the purpose of the request and any organization with which that individual is affiliated,” the order said.
— All citizens summoned for jury duty.
— A judge, magisterial district judge or the office of District Court Administrator may grant other exceptions at their discretion.
— A magisterial district judge may grant other exceptions in their sole discretion in any district court which they preside over.
The order states that “anyone who abuses the privilege of entering the court facility with an electronic device is subject to suspension of this privilege and full screening by the sheriff, deputy sheriff and/or court security.”
Other exceptions that may be granted include wedding ceremonies, oath of office proceedings, memorial proceedings, adoption proceedings and other ceremonies.
Those who wish to apply for an electronic device pass may visit Court Administrator Don Powers’ office on the second floor of the courthouse or visit www.clintoncountypa.com/government/court-services/court-forms/-folder-19.
“Applications and passes are for a specified individual and are not to be shared with other members of the person’s firm, agency, organization, family or anyone else,” Miller’s order states.
Miller’s order states that anyone permitted with a device in a court facility may use it while in common areas such as lobbies and waiting areas.
“However, all electronic devices must be powered off upon entry to a courtroom, hearing room or judicial chamber,” his order states. “Only the express permission of the presiding judge, presiding magisterial judge or presiding hearing officer may allow an electronic device to be powered on.”
Anyone who violates this order may be removed from a courtroom or proceedings; the deletion of any offending material on the device; and/or possible contempt finding.