An Act relative to the safety of courthouses and remote court proceedings


This bill is a technical change to ensure clarity regarding the police powers of court officers. These officers are tasked with maintaining order and safety under volatile circumstances. The current statute authorizes their police powers “in or about the areas of the court to which they have been assigned.” Despite the obvious intent of the language, there have been challenges to their authority in certain areas on the grounds of the courthouse, including the front steps and parking lots. This language would clarify that all grounds adjacent to the court and the parking lots. It would also extend the powers to locations where a court proceeding is occurring outside the courthouse, such as the examination of a evidence at an off-site location. In many cases, these officers are responsible for the security of judges, attorneys, and juries.