Beginning this Wednesday (January 2), cell phones will no longer be allowed in the Lincoln County Courthouse, however there are exceptions. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Forrest D. Bridges and Chief District Court Judge Larry J. Wilson signed an Administrative Order last Friday (December 28) banning cell phones and other personal communications devices in Lincoln County District and Superior Courtrooms.
The intent of the Administrative Order is to prevent unauthorized videos and photographs of witnesses, jurors and attorneys as well as recording the proceedings. It also states that certain devices or devices similar in appearance have the capability to injure or incapacitate and that it is in the interest of justice and safety.
The order did list exceptions including valid identification cards issued by Lincoln County for employees of the courthouse who are not required to go through the security process, attorneys with a current North Carolina State Bar identification, federal, state and local law enforcement officers; probation and parole officers with credentials, persons with jury summons, judges, commissioners and other government officials for the purpose of conducting court; Social Services and Guardian Ad Litem personnel appearing in court.
Signs will be posted at the Lincoln County Courthouse advising of the new requirements for cell phones.