You Should Know: Virtual Court Hearings Best Practices (Infographic + FAQs)
Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
Tips for Videoconferenced Court Hearings by SLLS: slls.org
What is a virtual hearing? +
Because of covid-19 courts must limit number of persons attending hearings in person. Due to this courts are holding virtual hearings by video or telephone.
If you unable to attend court online for any reason, you must inform court prior to your hearing date. Otherwise your case may be dismissed or a judgment taken against you.
Making Sure You're Ready for Court Online +
There are a few things you can do to be sure you're ready.
Tip #1: Wear Appropriate Clothing
You should wear what you would normally wear to court (business casual) - from head to toe.
Tip #2: Find a Quiet Space
Make sure you're alone with no distractions or loud noises that might interfere with the hearing.
Tip #3: Have Good Lighting
Make sure your computer or smartphone set up is not "back lit." Try facing a window or lamp for the best results.
Tip #4: Check Your Internet Speed
Do a test run and make sure your internet can support video conferencing. If not, let the court know as soon as possible so other arrangements can be made.
Tip #5: Download Video Conferencing Software
Well before your hearing, you'll want to download the video conferencing software the court is using. If you've never used the video conferencing software the court is using before, contact the court and ask to do a test run.
Tip #6: Check Your Email Frequently
Make sure the court has your current email address, and check it frequently. As the date gets closer, the court should contact you with log-in information and other instructions.
If you have any documents for evidence, ask the court how they would like to get them.
You may need to file them in the record well in advance. Do this as soon as you possible - at least several days before the hearing.
You must tell the court in advance if you intend to bring witnesses. The court may also subpoena witnesses to testify.
Witnesses should not have anyone else physically present with them during the hearing - including you. Nor should they have notes or paperwork in their possession while testifying - just like in court.