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State

Phone ban takes effect at main Chicago courthouse

CHICAGO (AP) — A cell phone ban is taking full effect at one of the Chicago area's busiest criminal courthouses.

Starting Monday, those attending hearings at the courthouse at 26th Street and California in Chicago won't be allowed to bring cell phones or other electronic devices in with them.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the same prohibition will be phased in at 12 other criminal courthouses.

Those exempt from the ban include judges, reporters and lawyers.

Chief Judge Evans' ordered the restriction after some judges and jurors complained people were using cell phones to photograph witnesses.

Falling under the ban are all electronic devices capable of connecting to the Internet or making audio or video recordings, including laptops and tablet computers.

The 26th and California courthouse last year was renamed the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

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