NOTICE OF PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE
LOCAL RULES OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS
FOR THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN DISTRICTS OF IOWA
TO BE EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

June 10, 2011

Notice is hereby given that the Local Rules of the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa will be amended effective September 1, 2011, to add a new subparagraph (f) to Local Rule 83.4, which bans the audio and video recordings of court proceedings.  The proposed new subparagraph (f) states as follows: 

f. Limited Exception for Pilot Program in Southern District. In the Southern District there is a limited exception to the ban on recording and publication of district court proceedings as set forth in this rule for district judges participating in a pilot program established by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 2010 (JCUS-SEP 10, pp. 3-4) to evaluate the effect of cameras in district court courtrooms, of video recordings of proceedings therein, and of publication of such video recordings.

Any recording and publication conducted pursuant to the pilot program must comply with the program guidelines issued by the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, pursuant to the pilot program (available at www.uscourts.gov). 

The proposed amendment is a result of the potential participation of the Southern District of Iowa in a Digital Video Recording Pilot program ("DVR program") of the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the Judicial Conference of the United States ("Conference Committee").  The DVR program will study the use of digital video recording of district court proceedings in civil cases and the making of those recordings publicly available through www.uscourts.gov and court websites.  Participation in individual cases is subject to the consent of the parties, and approval by the presiding judge.  Details of the program are available at the website identified above.  Because the audio and video recording of court proceedings is currently prohibited by Local Rule 83.4, an amendment to the rule is necessary to enable participation in the DVR program.  The proposed amendment, with minor variation which applies to the amendment only in the Southern District, would adopt the model local rule suggested by the Conference Committee. 

The public is invited to review and make comments on the proposed amendment.  Any comments should be directed to United States Magistrate Judge Ross A. Walters of the Southern District, either by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by mail to the United States Courthouse, 123 East Walnut Street, Room 440, Des Moines, IA 50309-2036.  Comments will be accepted through August 1, 2011. 

The proposed amendment will become effective only upon approval by the Article III United States District Judges of the districts.  The planned effective date of the amendment is September 1, 2011.