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Access to the Courthouse

All parties entering a federal courthouse must show a government-issued photo ID and must pass through a security screening. Acceptable forms of identification include official state or United States government issued identification such as a driver's license or passport. The only acceptable international identification is a government-issued passport with a current United States visa.

Contacting the Court

  • The court is committed to providing public access to court dockets, filings, and proceedings.
  • Debra D. Lucas, District Court Executive/Clerk of Court, is designated as the District’s Public Information Officer (PIO). Email is the preferred method of contact.
  • Media personnel should not directly contact a judge’s chambers or Clerk’s Office staff when seeking information. All requests must be directed to the PIO.
  • Neither the PIO or the judges of this court will discuss individual cases.
  • All media personnel are expected to familiarize themselves and abide by the Court’s policies regarding contact with the court.

Court Rules Affecting the Media

The court has strict rules governing the use of electronic devices in the courthouse, photography and audio/video recording. Journalists planning to cover a proceeding in this court are expected to familiarize themselves with these rules.

Photography, Recording & Electronic Devices

There are very restrictive rules applicable to photography and recording of proceedings in federal district courts. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 53 (F.R. Crim 53) bans photography and broadcasting in all criminal proceedings. In addition, U.S. Judicial Conference policy prohibits the broadcasting of civil or criminal proceedings in federal courts.

Local Rule of Civil Procedure 43.1(LRciv 43.1), which has been adopted in the District of Arizona, regulates the possession and use of electronic devices in all courthouses throughout the District. Members of the media are expected to read and follow the Local Rules of this Court.

Resources for Journalists

Obtaining transcripts & audio recordings
Accessing records in closed and archived cases


Frequently Asked Questions - Media

Can I sign up to receive email bulletins about the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona?

The Court maintains several listserv email lists. The emails cover topics such as changes to the court rules, new forms, and the like. They do not address individual cases in any way. These are self-subscribed and unsubscribed.  Click here to sign up for email updates.

How can I find documents and other information in a particular case?

Case related information is available electronically via the Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system.  You can register for this access by visiting  Otherwise, you may contact our Customer Services department for assistance by calling 602-322-7200.

I'm planning to attend a high-profile hearing. Do I need to do anything special to be sure I get a seat?

All proceedings are open to members of the public and the media.  Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.  You may enter the building as early as it opens to the public and wait outside the courtroom to assure a spot.

I've heard there is a hearing on a particular date and time. How can I confirm that it's still on calendar?

Information regarding scheduling of a hearing will be posted to the docket when the date is set by the Court.  Please check PACER for updates.  Weekly calendars are posted on our website and are available by clicking on the header titled Calendars. TIP: the letters at the end of the case number are the judge's initials. Search for these initials on the list of judges' calendars to identify the judge in the case, then open that judge's calendar.

Where can I get general information about federal courts?

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona is one of 92 federal courts in the United States and is completely separate and distinct from courts in the state court system.  For more information about federal judges, juries and the federal court system, we suggest you visit the United States Courts website.

May I attend a proceeding that is held telephonically?

Most telephonic conferences held in the courtroom are open to the public. Telephonic conferences held in chambers are not open to the public or media.

Can I get a booking photo "mug shot" of an arrested individual?

The Court does not maintain photos of individuals appearing in our Court.  We suggest you contact the arresting agency for this information.

Can I arrange to bring TV cameras into the courthouse to film a naturalization ceremony?

All requests to film or photograph naturalization ceremonies must be submitted via email to the attention of Debra D. Lucas, no later than the Wednesday immediately prior to the ceremony.  Your request must include the names of the individuals who will be attending the ceremony, what type of footage will be captured (video or photographs), and how the picture or video will be used.  Please note, if you wish to interview new citizens and their families, you must do so outside of the courthouse.