Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Criminal | Fifth Judicial District Public Access to Criminal Proceedings



Due to the high number of positive COVID-19 test results in Allegheny County, the Fifth Judicial District will temporarily provide remote access to public criminal proceedings that are being conducted through Microsoft Teams. In addition to the public access available in the courtrooms, remote public access will be provided to those criminal proceedings which are being conducted using Microsoft TEAMS. Proceedings that were closed to the public prior to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain closed regardless of whether they are conducted in-person or through Microsoft Teams. Access to hearings will be provided to the public unless limited by statute or rule or the proceeding is closed by the presiding judge.

Requests

To apply for remote public access to a particular criminal proceeding, you must submit a request before 9:00 AM the day prior to the day of your scheduled court date. You will be required to include the following information:

  • Requestor’s name, email address and phone number
  • Case name
  • Case Docket Number (CP or OTN Number)
  • Date of Hearing
  • Name of Judge or Magisterial District Court Number

An invitation to observe the Microsoft Teams proceeding will be sent to the email address provided by the requestor unless the proceeding is postponed or cancelled. Invitations will be sent when the MS Teams meeting is created which may be just before the Microsoft Teams proceeding begins. If your request was timely entered before 9:00 AM at least one business day prior to the day of your requested proceeding and you do not receive a TEAMS invitation, it is likely that the proceeding was postponed or canceled.

The sharing of Microsoft Teams invitations, links or passwords related to court proceedings is prohibited.


Enter the information for the proceeding you would like to observe:
      

Public Access Rules

Audio or video recording or broadcasting of any remote proceeding is strictly prohibited.
It is unlawful and a criminal offense to capture, record, transmit or broadcast video, audio or a photograph of any judicial proceeding. See 18 Pa.C.S. § 5103.1. Violators may be criminally charged with a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to two years for a first offense. Violators may also be found to be in contempt of court. See Pa.R.J.A. 1910 and Pa.R.Crim.P. 112.

A court reporter will be assigned to the proceeding and will prepare and certify the original transcript for filing with the Court pursuant to Pa.R.J.A. 4001 et seq.

Remote matters conducted through Advanced Communication Technology shall be conducted with the same decorum as in-person matters. All persons on the TEAMS meeting must comply with all instructions from the Court including requests to turn on their video for all or part of the proceeding. The Court may remove disruptive participants or participants who fail to comply with instructions from the Court from any Microsoft Teams proceeding.

The Court may ask those on a TEAMS meeting to identify themselves and visually and/or verbally acknowledge their agreement with these conditions.

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