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Information for Media/Journalists


  • The Court is committed to facilitating access to court dockets, documents and proceedings for journalists.

  • Judges and court staff will not comment on individual cases. Such inquiries should be directed to attorneys in the case as listed on the case docket.

  • Members of the media are expected to learn and abide by the Court's policies on contacting the Court and on the use of electronic devices in the courthouse, available on this page.

Courtroom Access

Request for Courtroom Seating/Teleconference Access to Proceedings

Press Releases


Media FAQs

  1. Complete a media application (click here). The form is fillable, but all signatures (supervisor's included) must be in ink.

  2. Mail the application and brief a cover letter in to:

    U.S. District Court Clerk's Office - Suite 2300
    1 Courthouse Way
    Boston, MA 02210

  3. Separately, submit a jpeg headshot to for your media ID card, pending approval.

If you are seeking to obtain a media ID on short notice, we will attempt to accommodate your request; however, we cannot guarantee it.

To request an ID on short notice:

  1. Email a copy of your media application, along with a jpeg headshot to:
  2. If we can accommodate this request, we will notify you.
  3. If we have confirmed we can complete your request, upon arrival at the courthouse, bring your original application (with all inked signatures) to the 2nd floor District Court Clerk's Office customer service window of the John J. Moakley Courthouse. If you prefer to pick up the ID at the Worcester or Springfield courthouses, we will arrange this.

Note: We do not mail IDs. All media IDs must be picked up in person by the individual cardholder.

This Court can issue read-only Electronic Case Filing (ECF) accounts (known as a Virtual Press Box or VPB) to members of the press with a USDC-MA Media ID. This expanded access to the Court's ECF system enables a reporter to receive e-mail notifications to an individual e-mail account when a document is filed in a case that the reporter may choose to follow.

Note: If you do not already have a media application on file with us, one must be submitted to complete this request.

VPB Application

Tips for Virtual Press Box Account Holders

This Court uses an electronic case filing system (CM/ECF or Case Management/Electronic Case Files system). Public information entered into CM/ECF is available through PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records).

PACER is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts, and from the U.S. Party/Case Index.


Free PACER Training/Practice Site

For high-profile hearings, the Court may send a notice with instructions for seating request sign-up. Please check the Press Releases section of this webpage for this information.

Otherwise, seating for high-demand proceedings is arranged by Court officials to ensure that the press, public, counsel, and others have reasonable access.

For high-demand proceedings, the Court will typically set up an audio-video feed to another courtroom to accommodate additional observers and members of the media.

Courtroom Seating Request Sign-Up

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, and view information on our page about accessing the Virtual Press Box to receive immediate alerts for cases of interest to you.

You may also look on the public calendar, which is posted two days in advance for each Division: Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.

Transcripts may be purchased through the court reporter, viewed at the public terminal, or viewed through PACER after it is released. Transcripts are released on PACER 90 days after being docketed. For information on accessing documents via PACER, click here. To request a transcript from the court reporter, contact the Court Reporter Supervisor at

No. All media must be credentialed for the District of Massachusetts to carry electronics into USDC-MA courthouses and to receive access to the Virtual Press Box.


The Administrative Office has published "A Journalist's Guide to the Federal Courts," which is intended to assist representatives of the media assigned to court coverage.


The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency for the federal courts. Congress created the FJC in 1967 to promote improvements in judicial administration in the courts. The FJC website contains the results of Center research on federal court operations and procedures and court history, as well as selected educational materials produced for judges and court employees.


The current FAQ page is a link to the Administrative Office website.

Contacting the Court

A wealth of information is available on the Court's website and public docket. Journalists are expected to make their best efforts to obtain answers to their questions by reviewing the pertinent web pages.

Journalists should contact the Media Liaison with all other questions concerning court proceedings and documents and interview requests for judges. Email is the preferred method of contact.

Media Liaison: Robert M. Farrell, Clerk of Court

Media email:

Journalists should not contact the assigned judge's courtroom deputy, docket clerk or chambers directly for any reason.

Court Rules Affecting the Media: Photography/Video/Broadcasting/Recording

The Court has strict rules governing the use in the courthouse of electronic devices, photography, and audio and video recording. All journalists planning to cover a proceeding in this court are expected to review and abide by these rules.

Local Rule 83.3(a) provides:

"Photographing, Recording, and Broadcasting Generally Prohibited. Except as specifically provided in these rules or by order of the court, no person shall take any photograph, make any recording, or make any broadcast by radio, television, or other means, in the course of or in connection with any proceedings in this court, on any floor of any building on which proceedings of this court are or, in the regular course of the business of the court, may be held."

Click here to view other court rules affecting the media.

Violations of these rules may result in the suspension or revocation of the media credentials of an individual or media organization and the imposition of other sanctions upon court order.

Resources for Journalists

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