For many of us, cell phone use is now a necessity for daily life, both for personal and business purposes. Until recently, however, the Maryland Judiciary did not have a unified policy for cell phones. Some courts allowed them in the courthouse only if they did not have a camera, others allowed attorneys only to bring cell phones, etc. To be fair, the judiciary does have valid concerns about safety, possible disruption of court proceedings, and preventing witness tampering. For example, jurors should not be using such devices during their service, but they may need to check in with the babysitter during lunch. The current state-wide policy now is to allow cellular phones, smartphones, laptops, etc. in the courthouse, subject to some usage restrictions. The new policy makes reasonable accommodation for today's needs, while striking a balance with efficient court administration.
Read the Maryland Judiciary notice here.
Read the Montgomery County Circuit Court Policy (more detailed) here.