Judge issues restrictions for media in Phylicia Barnes case

Judge Alfred Nance issued a 27-point list of directives for media as the trial of Michael Maurice Johnson, accused of killing 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes, got underway Tuesday morning. 

Here's how the court order appeared taped outside the courtroom door: 

1. The trial in the above captioned case is scheduled to be conducted in Part 22, Courtroom 556, Courthouse East, 111 N. Calvert St, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, Judge Alfred Nance presiding. 

2. All persons entering the either courthouse of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City must pass through electronic security devices and submit their equipment to search at the discretion of the sheriff's department. Members of the media are required to refrain from bringing excess bags or backpacks into the courthouse. 

3. No audio or visual recording equipment, press cameras or recording or transmitting equipment shall be permitted in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, except otherwise provided in this order. No tape recorders shall be permitted in the courtroom at any time. 

4. Limited pool video or still photographs will not be permitted, unless otherwise directed by the court. 

5. From 9 a.m. - 9:25 a.m., before the court begins each day, trial exhibits will be made available to the media for the purpose of this order, unless otherwise ordered by the court. The exhibits shall be available, one time, for the purpose of access by members of the media. 

6. Photographs or photocopies of exhibits shall not be allowed.

7. No "live" television, telephone, radio or other broadcast of exhibits shall be permitted during the viewing of exhibits.

8. The courtroom clerk assigned to Part 22 for these proceedings shall serve as coordinator of the viewing of trial exhibits and as custodian of same.

9. Certain trial exhibits shall be handled by court-approved technicians or specialists only.

10. The sheriff shall be present and will remain during the viewing of all exhibits. 

11. Members of the media shall not use cellular, text messages, and/or any electronic device within 100 feet of courtroom 556 during the ourse of these proceedings. No cellular phones containing cameras shall be permitted in the courtroom.

12. Only those members of the media with proper press identification shall be permitted in Part 22, Courtroom 556E during these proceedings. There will be limited reserved seating for the media in the courtroom. 

13. The deputy sheriff's shall monitor the courtroom at all times and they are authorized to remove anyone who violates this security order, media protocol or at the instruction of the court.

14. Counsel for the parties shall be allowed to be present for any activity permitted by this order.

15. The deputy sheriff assigned to Part 22, courtroom 556 for these proceedings, shall establish limited reserved seating in the courtroom for authorized media, members of the victim's family, and members of the defendant's families. 

16. No one shall be permitted to enter Part 22, Courtroom 556E or remain therein during those proceedings who is wearing any item on his or her person exhibiting any sign which, in the opinion of the court, may tend to influence any juror or affect the orderly administration of these proceedings.

17. No food or drink is permitted in the courtroom. 

18. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the courthouse of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City

19. Under no circumstances are members of the media permitted to contact, photograph or interview jurors during the course of these proceedings. 

20. Members of the media shall not photograph vehicles transporting jurors when entering, leaving or standing in or about the areas of Courthouse East of Circuit Court of Baltimore City.

21. The deputy sheriff shall escort members of the jury from the courthouse at the conclusion of trial each day and shall provide the jurors with information on available downtown escort services beyond the courthouse.

22. No court personnel or court-approved specialist shall be recorded, photographed or otherwise depicted in conjunction with the trial exhibits. 

23. Members of the Circuit Court staff shall not be interviewed regarding these cases.

24. Media conferences of interviews shall not be permitted in Courthouse East.

25. If members of the media believe any aspect of the order is unworkable or inappropriate, they may request modification only if such request is made in sufficient time in advance of the court matter to permit the court to review the proposed modification. 

26. Violations of this order will subject the violator to a revocation of all media privileges, and subject to but not limited to the contempt powers of the court.

27. This media protocol order is subject to modification by the trial judge and/or administrative judge of this court at any time. 

-Judge Alfred Nance


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