Skip to content

2. Photographic recordings allowed

Posts

  • Alaska

    Although audio and video recording and photographing of public meetings is customarily done, the state OMA does not address this issue. If this issue arises, the press should argue there is a legal right to photograph or record such meetings, either implicit in the OMA, or arising from the common law or constitution. Be aware, however, that in the context of access to judicial proceedings, the courts have held there is a right to attend and observe court proceedings, but no right to photograph. Photography in the courts is considered a privilege governed by court rules. See Alaska Rules of Court, Administrative Rule 50. (Note that as the 2018 update to this Open Government Guide went to press, the Alaska Supreme Court was considering revisions to Rule 50.) There are cases from other jurisdictions dealing with the right to record or photograph at public meetings.

    view more
  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

    view more
  • Arkansas

    Members of the press and the public have the right to make video recordings of meetings, so long as the mechanics of recording are not disruptive. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 83-213. Similarly, the media have the right to broadcast a meeting “live,” subject to reasonable limitations to prevent disruption or interference with the meeting. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 77-086.

    view more
  • California

    Under both Acts, any person attending an open and public meeting of a state body or a legislative body of a local agency has the right to record and broadcast the proceedings with a video recorder or motion picture camera unless the body reasonably finds that the recording disrupts the proceedings by noise, illumination or obstruction of view. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 11124.1(a) and (c) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54953.5(a), 54953.6 (Brown Act).

    view more
  • Colorado

    No statutory provisions or case law on this point.

    view more
  • Connecticut

    A meeting open to the public may be photographed, broadcast, or recorded for broadcast, subject to rules prescribed by the agency. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-226. A temporary injunction can be issued pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-226 to enjoin a violation of this provision.

    view more
  • Delaware

    Not addressed.

    view more
  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

    view more
  • Georgia

    Photographs are expressly permitted. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(c).

    view more
  • Hawaii

    While the open meetings law allows any part of a meeting to be recorded "by means of a tape recorder or any other means of sonic reproduction," there is nothing that authorizes photographic recordings. See Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-9(c). However, in the case of limited meetings, the board must videotape the meeting. Id. § 92-3.

    view more
  • Indiana

    The same principles applicable to sound recordings apply to photographic recording of public meetings. In practice, still cameras and video recording are commonplace. See Berry v. Peoples Broad. Corp., 547 N.E.2d 231, 234 (Ind. 1989) (approving of the following definition of “record”: “the reasonable use of recorders, cameras and any other recognized means of recording”).

    view more
  • Iowa

    Sound and photographic recordings are allowed. "The public may use cameras or recording devices at any open session." Public bodies may make rules to keep meetings "orderly, and free from interference." Iowa Code § 21.7.

    view more
  • Kansas

    Yes. K.S.A. 75-4318(e) subject to reasonable rules to ensure the orderly conduct of the proceedings at such meeting.

    view more
  • Kentucky

    Photographic recordings are allowed. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.840.

    view more
  • Louisiana

    No specific provision for or limitation of photographic recordings. Presumably, however, section 42:23(A) permits both motion picture "filming" and still photography.

    view more
  • Maine

    Any person attending a public proceeding has a right to film the proceedings, or to make a live broadcast, provided that the filming or broadcasting does not interfere with the orderly conduct of proceedings. 1 M.R.S.A. § 404. Bodies and agencies are authorized to make reasonable rules and regulations governing these activities but may not prohibit them.

    view more
  • Maryland

    Public bodies must adopt and enforce reasonable rules to regulate videotaping, televising, photographing, broadcasting, or recording its meetings. § 3-303. Prohibiting recording is not a “reasonable rule” under the statute. 3 OMCB Opinions 356 (2003).

    view more
  • Massachusetts

    Videotape recording is now permitted, except during an executive session, provided the equipment is in a fixed location or locations determined by the governmental body and there is no active interference with conduct of the meeting. G.L. c. 39, § 23B as amended by St. 1987, c.159. Still photography is routinely allowed.

    view more
  • Montana

    Mont. Code Ann. § 2-3-211, guarantees attendees the right to take photographs, televise, or record meetings so long as these activities do not interfere with the conduct of the meeting.

    view more
  • Nebraska

    All or any part of a meeting of a public body, except for closed sessions may be videotaped, televised, photographed, broadcast, or recorded by any person in attendance by means of a tape recorder, camera, video equipment, or any other means of pictorial or sonic reproduction or in writing.

    view more
  • Nevada

    A meeting may be recorded using any means of video reproduction so long as it does not interfere with the conduct of the meeting. NRS 241.035(3).

    view more
  • New Hampshire

    Yes. See 91-A:2,II.

    view more
  • New Mexico

    Reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate the use of audio and video recording devices. NMSA 1978 § 10-15-1(A).  If meetings are recorded, the recording is a matter of public record and an agency cannot deny access to it on the basis that the recording was not originally required to be made.  New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, Inspection of Public Records Act Compliance Guide, 24-25 (8th ed. 2015).

    view more
  • North Carolina

    The Open Meetings Law provides, in G.S. § 143-318.14, that “any person” may photograph, film, tape-record, or otherwise reproduce any part of a meeting required to be open.

    view more
  • Ohio

    The statute does not address photography of meetings; the Ohio Attorney General has opined that videotaping is permissible; as a matter of custom, photography and video taping of meetings by news organizations is fairly common. 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 88-087.

    The court of appeals has raised questions about whether a city council has the authority to require citizens to "register in advance" if they intend to audio record a meeting, and to display the recording device on the village council table. Spratt v. Rickey, (4th Dist.-Adams 1998), 1998 WL 144432.

    The same court of appeals later opined that "a blanket prohibition on recording a public meeting . . . does not appear to be justified." Kline v. Davis, (4th Dist.-Lawrence), 2001 WL 1590658.

    Public bodies may audio tape or video tape their meetings. "Audio- or videotape recordings . . . are all legitimate means of satisfying the requirements of R.C. 121.22." White v. Clinton Cty. Bd. of Comm'rs, 76 Ohio St. 3d 416, 667 N.E.2d 1223 (1996).

    view more
  • Oklahoma

    Any person may record "by videotape, audiotape or by any other method" a public meeting provided the act of recording does not interfere with the conduct of the meeting. 25 O.S. § 312.C.

    view more
  • Oregon

    The statute does not deal with this subject.

    view more
  • Rhode Island

    No specific provision in statute, but the Attorney General has given the opinion that videotaping open portions of a meeting is allowed, by extension of the reasoning relating to sound recordings in Belcher v. Mansi, 569 F.Supp. 379 (D. R.I. 1983), subject to reasonable restrictions set forth by the public body.  Op. Att’y Gen., OM 06-58 (Sept. 8, 2006), 2006 WL 4573885.

    view more
  • South Carolina

    The act allows for recording by sonic or video recording, and while photo coverage is not specified, it is customarily allowed. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-90(c).

    view more
  • South Dakota

    SDCL §1-25-11 allows a person to record a public meeting “through video or audio technology…as long as the recording is reasonable, obvious, and not disruptive.”

    view more
  • Tennessee

    Yes, subject to reasonable restrictions.

    view more
  • Texas

    A person in attendance may record all or any part of an open meeting by means of a tape recorder, video camera, or other means of aural or visual reproduction. Tex. Gov’t Code§ 551.023(a).

    view more
  • Utah

    Utah Code section 52-4-203(5) does not distinguish between sound recordings and photographic recordings, and it appears that either is permissible as long as no disruption of the proceedings results.

    view more
  • Vermont

    Not addressed.

    view more
  • Virginia

    Any person may photograph or film any portion of a meeting required to be open. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3707.G.

    view more
  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

    view more
  • Wyoming

    A district judge allowed videotaping of a school board meeting, but the Supreme Court has not considered the issue.  Videotaping of public meeting is generally allowed in the state.

    view more