Federal Courthouse Photography Settlement

Above is the full text of the settlement.

The US Department of Homeland Security reached a settlement with photographer/videographer Antonio Musumeci, who, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a claim when he was arrested six months ago for documenting a political protest outside of a federal courthouse in Manhattan.

The ACLU claimed that Musumeci was arrested based on a vague and inconsistently enforced regulation. They cited that federal courthouses in other cities like Washington DC and Philadelphia allow photography on their grounds, and that regulation must be unanimously enforced nation-wide. They also claimed that for a public building to ban photography, signs must be posted clearly and visibly throughout the area.

One of the provisions of the settlement mandates that the Department of Homeland Security issue a new set of guidelines to all police and security officials working in and around federal courthouses across the country. These guidelines will inform all security officials that videotaping and photography outside any public space, like a courthouse, is completely legal.

Musemeci was also awarded $1,500 and a reimbursement for his legal fees from the Federal Protective Services.

From: British Journal of Photography