TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Supreme Court has adopted a rule that applies to electronic broadcast and recording of court proceedings in publicly accessible district court cases.
Rule 160 applies when a district court provides public access to court proceedings. If a court proceeding is open to the public, the court may broadcast the proceeding live, record the proceeding and/or preserve any recordings of the proceeding, according to a press release from the Kansas Supreme Court.
“The court may consider any aspect of the broadcasting or recording process that could affect the administration of justice, including whether the process would be inconsistent with the parties’ rights and whether the broadcasting or recording activity would unduly distract the parties,” Rule 160 stipulates.
If a recording isn’t the only way for the public to access a court proceeding, the court has no duty to stop proceedings if broadcasts fail, as long as the failure doesn’t impact the court record. The court may move to prevent public broadcast due to sensitive subject matter or other good cause, according to the Rule 160 document.
If a recording is the only way for the public to access proceedings, the court must stop if the broadcast fails and must wait until the broadcast is restored.
The Kansas Supreme Court rescinded Administrative Order 2023-RL-018 as part of the adoption of Rule 160. Administrative Order 2023-RL-018 was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to guide courts on making proceedings available through livestreams.