Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance
Notice Regarding Press and Public Access to Court Hearings


Preparing to Participate in a Remote Video Conference



IMPORTANT: HEARING RECORDING PROHIBITED

Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or teleconference, including "screen-shots' or other audio or visual copying of a hearing, is absolutely prohibited. Violation of these prohibitions may result in sanctions, including removal of court-issued media credentials, restricted entry to future hearings, denial of entry to future hearings, or any other sanctions deemed necessary by the court.

Video Teleconference Policy

  • The call may be an in-court proceeding and will be considered the same as the courtroom. A court reporter will be present. Appropriate attire is required.
  • Appropriate conduct is required always.
  • Participants must use a private and quiet room that will be free of interruptions. Also, video meetings need good, consistent lighting: avoid rooms with bright windows and/or back-lighting.
  • Participants must place their mobile devices on a solid surface with the camera at eye level. Do not hand hold devices and do not lay phones or tablets flat on a desk or tabletop.
  • Desktops, laptops, tablets are preferred over cellular phones.
  • The court has the right to terminate the proceeding if the video experience is not acceptable.
  • The judge has power over the proceeding and participants as if they were present in chambers or a physical courtroom.
  • Use an appropriate virtual background.
  • If you are not using a virtual background, make sure the room behind you is professional and free of distractions
  • Be sure to display your full name
  • Position your camera so your face is clearly visible

Technology Requirements

  • Internet access - Free public Wi-Fi does NOT offer the stability and strength required to participate in a Zoom hearing.
  • Devices - Computer (laptop or desktop), tablet, smartphone, with Zoom desktop application or app installed. Telephone for audio only participation.
  • Interpreters must use laptop or tablet - not a smartphone or telephone.
  • Camera & microphone - Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have these tools integrated into the device. Desktop computers must be paired with eternal microphones and cameras that have been tested prior to the hearing.

    NOTE: The court will not provide technical support for Zoom panelists or attendees. Please contact the Zoom Help Center, your local IT support, or other online guidance.

Zoom Hearing Best Practices

  • Select a location that is relatively quiet and manageable.
  • Connect your device to power.
  • Make sure your internet connection is good: https://www.pcworld.com/article/2048594/how-to-test-your-home-internet-speed.html.
    Connection via a hard-wire Ethernet cable will always be faster and more reliable than WiFi.
  • Test your video. If you use Virtual Backgrounds, select something neutral
  • Test your audio. Know how to mute / unmute your voice as well as sounds from all other applications (email notifications, chat messaging, etc.).
  • Turn off all audio disruptions (phones, messaging alerts, email alerts, etc.)
  • Run a quick test to connect with another Zoom user, or use the Zoom test: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115002262083-Joining-a-test-meeting
  • Consider using a headset/earphones with a built in microphone

Learning Resources

The court will use the audio and video functionality of Zoom, but other functions such as text chat, screen sharing, whiteboard, etc., may be allowed by the judge for participants. All participants must be familiar with all the Zoom functions and should practice prior to their proceeding. Consult the following sources to learn how to select the correct audio and video source, how to mute/unmute your audio, and how to Start/Stop your video: