Chapter 4: Courtrooms
Microphone outlets shall be located as follows:
Judge's bench (at each station)
Courtroom deputy clerk station
Attorney and litigant stations
Additional locations at the exhibit area, lectern, and court
The audio system must be acoustically balanced by a trained technician. Control
over the frequency response of the system must not be accessible to untrained court
personnel. Audio volume and on/off controls are located at the judge's bench and/or
the courtroom deputy clerk station. Microphones must be placed in conjunction
with loudspeakers. The microphone at the judge's position must have an on/off
switch so that it can be silenced during bench conferences. Microphones at
attorneys' stations must have an on/off switch to allow for private discussions
between attorneys and litigants. Conductors from the audio system in USDC
courtrooms must connect to the USMS cell area, with a junction box at the
courtroom holding cell.
An ALS and simultaneous translation system is integral to the courtroom sound
system. Wireless infrared systems provide flexibility and privacy. An infrared
transmission behaves like light and requires opaque shades in rooms with windows
to maintain privacy. Infrared systems require the placement of emitters to provide
line-of-sight transmission to the entire courtroom. ALS controls are generally
located at the courtroom deputy clerk station. Multi-track systems can be used for
assisted listening, simultaneous translation, and allowing trial participants to listen
to confidential tape recordings.
The courtroom telephone system must be tied into the audio and electronic
recording systems to accommodate telephone proceedings. The system must
accommodate conference calls and speakerphones.
For more information regarding audio systems in courtrooms, see Guide
Specifications for Modification/Installation of Audio Systems in United States
Courthouses, published by the AOUSC.