LA Courts End Remote Audio Program After Illicit Britney Spears Recording Surfaces

When asked what is the court’s general policy is on taking action if a proceeding is recorded without permission, L.A. County Superior Court Communications Director Ann E. Donlan said only: “Parties who publish unauthorized recordings of court proceedings in violation of a court order are subject to sanctions and other potential liability pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 1209 and other applicable law.”

Penny, at the beginning of the hearing, not only reminded those listening about the policy against recording but also warned against live-tweeting and told those physically in the courtroom that they needed to use a pen and paper instead of a laptop for their notes. Still, audio of Spears testimony began circulating just hours after the hearing, including in a YouTube post that has since been taken down because of a copyright claim from the court.

The next day, the court issued an announcement that, effective Monday, the remote audio attendance program would be shut down.

“Effective June 28, the Court will no longer offer the Remote Audio Attendance Program (RAAP) to listen remotely to courtroom proceedings,” read the announcement, which also detailed the rolling back of other COVID-19 protocols. “The Court implemented this temporary program during the pandemic recognizing there may be abuses of the Court’s orders prohibiting recording, filming, and distribution of proceedings. Widespread breaches by the public in a recent court proceeding highlighted the need to return to in person, open courtroom proceedings, which is a welcome development.”

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