Open Letter to the Mass. SJC

To whom it may concern,

I am the Owner and Managing Editor of Free Press Publications which is a Registered News Organization with the SJC.

On the morning of March 20, I went to the Palmer District Court to attend and cover a hearing in the case of State v Ian Freeman. Upon arrival, I was told that I could not bring my camera & tripod, to which I responded, “I’m media, yes, I can,” and pulled out the form that was sent to me via email from Erika Gully-Santiago (Deputy Public Information Officer).

The bailiff said that since I did not present him “the original” (something I don’t have, as it was sent electronically) that he would need to have a judge verify the form, and that I would need to wait outside of the building.

After waiting for nearly 45 minutes, I was told I would need to fill out a motion which the judge would need to approve before I would be allowed through the security checkpoint; this time I was allowed to stand between the two sets of doors instead of waiting outside. In total it was almost 1 hour from the time I arrived at the Palmer District Court and the time I was allowed through security.
I have a few questions that I would like answered:

  1. Is this the normal procedure for ALL members of the media, or is this treatment reserved for people who are not members of the big media companies?
  2. As a Registered News Organization, why was I required to fill out a motion to film?
  3. Is a motion required each time I wish to film a trial?
  4. If a motion IS required each time I wish to film a trial, why must I be registered with the SJC?
  5. If a motion is NOT required each time I wish to film a trial, why was one required today?

I anticipate your response with answers to each of the questions I’ve asked.

In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry