Judge Bans Phones From Criminal Courthouses

Ban goes into effect January 14, with certain exceptions

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012  |  Updated 4:15 PM CDT
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Judge Bans Phones From Criminal Courthouses

Cook County judges want the public to leave the technology at home when it comes to the courthouse.

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Leave that iPhone at home.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans has banned the public from cell phones, iPads and other electronic devices into criminal courthouses, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

The new rule is aimed at gang members who were attempting to intimidate witnesses, judges, jurors and prospective jurors by taking their pictures inside the courthouse. Judges were also concerned about people texting testimony to witnesses waiting outside the courtroom, the newspaper reported.

The ban takes effect January 14 and affects 13 courthouses, although the Richard J. Daley court complex will have restricted areas.

Individuals in the courthouse on official business will be allowed to bring in electronic devices and use them in public areas.

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