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People v. Harris, et. al.

Case No. 17-CR-017349A/B (more commonly known as the “Ghost Ship” case)

PURPOSE

The intent of this web site is to set forth information about rulings in the case that impact the media and public members intending to attend the proceedings.  If you are a member of the media and have a media request, contact the Court’s Executive Office at ghostshipinfo@alameda.courts.ca.gov.  All media requests will be evaluated by Court leadership to make sure that your request are contained in the proper format, and, if appropriate, the request will then be filed with the Clerk of the Court.  Court staff will not respond to the use or attempted use of this email address for any other purpose.  For additional information concerning the public hearing schedule, please use the Alameda County Superior Court Public Portal, searching case numbers 17-CR-017349A or 17-CR-017349B.

LIMITATIONS ON MEDIA AND RECORDING IN THE COURTROOM

On March 1, 2019, Hon. Trina Thompson issued a Media Order regarding Cameras in the Courtroom.  That order is set forth in full here. 

SEATING

Designated seating will be set aside for families, media, the public, court staff and other audience members as deemed necessary by the Court and will be on a first come first served basis.

PROHIBITION ON FILMING OR RECORDING ON 5th FLOOR

Pursuant to rule 1.150 of the California Rules of Court and Alameda Superior Court Local Rule 1.7, the Court’s Presiding Judge, Hon. Wynne S. Carvill, has issued a General Directive establishing that no filming, photography, or any other form of electronic recording shall be permitted in any public areas of the 5th Floor of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse during the pendency of the trial.  Violators will be asked to cease recording, and may be subject to other penalties as permitted by law. 

PROHIBITION ON EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS

Ex parte communications on the merits between the presiding judicial officer and/or the courtroom clerk or other person associated with the Court on a pending matter are forbidden except as provided by statute.  A judge is ethically prohibited from communicating with a witness on an ex parte basis by Canon 3A(4) of the California Code of Judicial Conduct which provides, in pertinent part, that a judge, "except as authorized by law, [shall] neither initiate nor consider ex parte or other communications concerning a pending or impending proceeding." 

Ex parte communications related to the Ghost Ship trial should not be submitted to the Court.  Such communications will not be read, but will be made available for inspection to each counsel involved in the case.  Such communications will be returned with a cover correspondence forbidding future correspondence. Note that this does not prevent any citizen or potential witness from sending correspondence to the attorneys. 


SECURITY

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for security in the Alameda County Superior Court. All members of the public will be subject to security screening at the building’s entrance.

Failure to adhere to the rules in this order or to abide by the orders of the Sheriff’s Office may result in sanctions, including expulsion from the courtroom and/or courthouse, and any other lawful response.

OUTSIDE OF THE COURTROOM

No disruptions in the hallways or vestibules will be tolerated. The noise level in the hallway or vestibule must be kept to a minimum. Other courtrooms will also be in session. No passageways or doors may be blocked.

INFORMATION RE PARKING

Public parking options are limited around the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, and the public is encouraged to use public transportation, taxis, or ride sharing services where possible.  Limited parking is available at the Oakland Museum of California (1000 Oak Street) or at the Alcopark Parking Garage (165 13th Street), and a limited number of 2-hour street parking spaces are also available.  Please note that all parking spaces immediately adjacent to the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse are for Official Parking only, and vehicles without an official placard or permit will be ticketed.

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