Thursday, January 29, 2015

Los Angeles County court spokesperson defines limits to use of social media by prospective jurors

In response to an inquiry by Etopia News, Mary Hearn, Director of Public Information at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (formerly the Los Angeles County “Criminal Courts Building”) sent the following statement on Tuesday, January 27th:

“Regarding the use of social media by jurors, the restrictions pertain to jurors who are assigned to a case.  It does not appear that there are prohibitions regarding social media that apply to jurors not assigned to a case and serving in the assembly room.  

“There are prohibitions against unauthorized photography in the courthouse and against photographing jurors under any circumstances.  So, a prospective juror would not be permitted to take photos in the Jury Assembly Room or anywhere in the courthouse.

“It is Court policy not to authorize any proposal for research that involves questioning or interviewing any person summoned to serve or who is serving as a juror.  Therefore, when you are in the assembly room as a juror, you are prohibited from questioning or interviewing other jurors or 'acting' as a journalist.

“Regarding the use of automated profiling, or automated analytics, while the Court does not have a court-wide policy regarding attorneys’ use of such analytics, that does not preclude individual judges ruling on such matters in individual cases.”

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