If you're a reporter who thinks covering Charlie Sheen's court appearance in Aspen on January 20 will be like winning the lottery, you're right. It'll be exactly like winning the lottery.
The Aspen Police Department has determined that the members of the media allowed in the sixty-person capacity courtroom during the visit of Sheen and his wife Brooke will be chosen by a lottery -- and the same goes for news agencies that want to park their satellite trucks in town. No mention about the number of winners, although it's a safe bet there'll be fewer seats and spaces available than press representatives who want them.
The same will probably be true for just plain folks, who'll get in on a first-come, first-served basis. And since no decision has been made yet about allowing a camera in the courtroom, that may be the only way locals get a glimpse of the Sheen.
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Aspen Police Department release:
Pitkin County Sheriff and Aspen Police Plan for Sheen Appearance
ASPEN, CO -- 01/14/2010 -- On Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Carlos Irwin Estevez , also known as Charlie Sheen, is scheduled to appear at the Pitkin County Courthouse at 9AM for a motion hearing to modify a mandatory protection order. The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Aspen Police Department are preparing for significant media and community interest in this hearing.
The 120 year old Pitkin County Courthouse is not designed to accommodate large crowds. In an effort to ensure public safety during the course of the hearing, allow for continued public access to government services, and protect the historic nature of the building, admittance to the Pitkin County Courthouse will be restricted. The restrictions will be as follows: general access to the courthouse will be limited to those members of the public with a clearly defined business purpose with the courts, police, sheriff, assessors, or other county services; District Court access to Mr. Estevez' hearing will be limited to 60 people; County Court access for other court proceedings will be limited to 35 people. Any members of the public or press not permitted into the Courthouse should be prepared to wait outside.
The ratio of general public to press seats is yet to be determined and will be at the discretion of the 9th Judicial District Court Judge James Boyd. General public seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis; the queue will open at 7AM at the Pitkin County Courthouse. Press member seats will be available by lottery; go to www.aspenpolice.com to obtain more information and to submit your lottery entry. The lottery will be held on Monday, January 18 at 2PM and the result will be posted online at www.aspenpolice.com. To gain entry inside the courtroom attendees must leave all bags outside the courthouse building and must pass through a metal detector. The approval of video or camera equipment is yet to be determined and will be at the discretion of the 9th Judicial District Court Judge James Boyd.
Aspen is a small town with limited parking in and around the Pitkin County Courthouse. The Galena Street Circle, just outside the Pitkin County Courthouse, will be closed to through traffic and general parking. Satellite truck parking will be will be available by lottery; go to www.aspenpolice.com to obtain more information and to submit your lottery entry. The lottery will be held on Monday, January 18 at 2PM and the result will be posted online at www.aspenpolice.com. All other reserved on-street parking in the vicinity of the Pitkin County Courthouse will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Paid parking is available at the Rio Grande Parking Garage or on city streets.
For media questions, please contact the Public Information Officer Stephanie Dasaro at (970) 920-5300 or (970) 920-5400.