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Mobile County Courthouse Enforces Stricter Cellphone Restrictions in Courtrooms

In an effort to maintain courtroom decorum and prevent distractions, the Mobile County Courthouse has implemented stricter rules regarding cellphone use within its courtrooms. Effective immediately, individuals entering courtrooms are prohibited from carrying or using cellphones, smartwatches, or any other electronic devices capable of transmitting or receiving electronic communications.

Rationale for the Restrictions

The new policy aims to address several concerns that have arisen from excessive cellphone use in courtrooms. Firstly, the constant buzzing, ringing, and flashing of electronic devices can disrupt proceedings, creating an audible nuisance for both judges and attendees. Secondly, cellphones can be used to discreetly take photographs or record audio of proceedings, potentially compromising the privacy of parties involved.

Additionally, the use of electronic devices can be seen as disrespectful to the court and its proceedings. By prohibiting their use, the courthouse seeks to reinforce the solemnity and importance of the courtroom environment.

Exemptions to the Policy

While the policy generally prohibits all cellphone use in courtrooms, there are certain exemptions for essential purposes. Attorneys, law enforcement officers, and other authorized personnel may use electronic devices as necessary for the performance of their official duties.

Additionally, individuals with disabilities may be permitted to use assistive devices, such as communication devices, if they have been approved by the court in advance.

Enforcement and Consequences

To ensure compliance with the new policy, bailiffs will be responsible for monitoring courtroom entrances and confiscating any prohibited electronic devices. Individuals who violate the policy may face sanctions, such as being asked to leave the courtroom or having their devices confiscated.

Repeated violations may result in more severe consequences, including being held in contempt of court.

Benefits of the Policy

The courthouse anticipates several benefits from the implementation of stricter cellphone restrictions. Firstly, it will enhance the decorum and solemnity of the courtroom environment, fostering a more respectful atmosphere for proceedings.

Secondly, it will eliminate distractions and disruptions, allowing judges and attendees to focus on the matters at hand. Furthermore, the policy will protect the privacy of parties involved by preventing unauthorized recording or photography.

Adherence to Judicial Standards

The Mobile County Courthouse's new cellphone policy aligns with the standards set forth by the Alabama Supreme Court. In 2019, the court adopted Rule 34, which prohibits the use of electronic devices in courtrooms unless specifically authorized by the judge.

The rule recognizes the potential for electronic devices to disrupt proceedings, violate privacy, and undermine the authority of the court.


The Mobile County Courthouse's stricter cellphone restrictions represent a commitment to maintaining an orderly and respectful courtroom environment. By eliminating distractions, preserving privacy, and reinforcing the solemnity of proceedings, the new policy aims to enhance the administration of justice within the courthouse. Individuals attending court are urged to adhere to the policy and ensure that their electronic devices are properly silenced and stored away.

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