Digital Audio Files of Court Proceedings Available Online

Friday, August 3, 2007

Beginning August 6, 2007, the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska will participate in a 12-month pilot project to make digital audio files of court proceedings available to the public over the Internet through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. The judges involved in the pilot are District Judge Richard Kopf, Magistrate Judge David L. Piester, Magistrate Judge Thomas Thalken, and Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett. During the pilot, audio files of all court proceedings held in front of these judges, unless otherwise specified by the judge, will be uploaded to the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system. Attorneys of record on a case will receive a Notice of Electronic Filing for the audio file and one free download. Audio files will also be available to the public via PACER at a cost of $0.08 per file, plus the cost of accessing the docket sheet or docket activity report.

If information subject to the court's privacy policy is stated on the record, it will be available in the audio files this court makes available. (For guidance on the privacy policy as applied to documents, exhibits, and transcripts, see http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/cmecf/ --> "Notice of Electronic Availability of Case File Information"; NECivR 5.3; and NECrimR 49.3). Since counsel and the parties are solely responsible for guaranteeing that pleadings and testimony comply with the court's rules requiring redaction of personal data identifiers, the better practice is to avoid introducing personal data identifiers and other sensitive information into the record in the first place, unless absolutely necessary to prove an element of the case. Also, be advised that courtroom deputies cannot redact audio files before they are placed on CM/ECF. Please take this into account when questioning witnesses or making other statements in court. If private information is mentioned durin! g a hearing or trial, counsel may move the court to seal, restrict, or otherwise prohibit placement of the digital audio file of the hearing or trial on the Internet through the PACER system.

For more information on retrieving digital audio files visit http://www.ned.uscourts.gov/cmecf/digaudioprocedure.pdf

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