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Starting January 2018, the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County will deploy Yondr, a mobile device locking pouch that will enable patrons to store and maintain possession of their mobile devices while in the courtroom.
Prior to entering a courtroom, citizens will receive an individual pouch to insert their mobile devices. The pouch is then locked on the top by a magnet clip and stays with the patron during their time in the courtroom. Citizens will maintain possession of their mobile devices at all times, however their devices are inaccessible for use until the pouches are unlocked at a specified Yondr unlocking station. Yondr pouches neither interfere with nor block cell signal, per US Government FCC regulations, they simply prevent access.
“Public safety in the courtroom and the integrity of the Judicial System are top priorities at the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County,” says the Honorable Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. “As technology evolves and the ability to disseminate information instantly increases, we must be ever mindful of the integrity of the judicial process and the safety of everyone involved from the jurors to the litigants. While the unauthorized recording of a court proceeding is prohibited, modern technology makes that difficult to monitor. Yondr will add an extra layer of security for jurors and witnesses while maintaining the integrity of all legal proceedings.”
The Circuit Court for Prince George’s County is the first courthouse in Maryland to use the mobile device locking pouch in the courtroom.
“Yondr will definitely provide an additional layer of security in the courtroom,” adds the Honorable Michael R. Pearson, Associate Judge of the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County. “With a daily docket of criminal cases - more importantly, high profile trials - Yondr will reinforce the current mechanism in place to safeguard the courtroom patrons and its personnel. Moreover, the pouch will be an immediate reminder that the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County remains a Fair Forum for Justice.”
In Maryland, the Circuit Court is the general jurisdiction trial court. Circuit Courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over jury trials in civil and criminal matters and non-jury trials in equity matters involving family law and other matters.