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  • Cheryl Thornley

The do’s and don’ts of remote court hearings in family courts, using Microsoft Teams or Cloud Video

With the increasing concerns around new variants and covid restrictions, the courts must continue to try and keep cases progressing to prevent further backlogs in the family courts. It's likely that remote court hearings by video link are here to stay, certainly for the immediately future in any case. If you have received a hearing notice to join a hearing remotely for the first time, you might be wondering how best to tackle this. Here are some do's and don'ts of remote hearings.


Do’s


Preparation

  • Ensure you have a laptop or a device with a working camera before the day of the hearing.

  • Download and familiarise yourself with Microsoft teams if attending remote hearing by teams.

  • When attending a CVP hearing, follow the instructions provided by the court’s email, and download the app required if joining by your mobile phone.

  • When attending a Cloud Video Platform hearing, ensure you have downloaded google chrome; this will limit the connection issues when attempting to join.

  • Test your microphone, camera and video the evening before your hearing, to confirm it is working.

On the day of the hearing

  • On the day of hearing, find a quite space in your home, away from the children and other possible distractions.

  • Do dress appropriately for the remote hearing, although it is a remote hearing, do treat it in the same manner as an in-person hearing.

  • When attempting to join the CVP hearing, ensure you have put in the correct pin that was provided in the email sent by the Court. It may take you automatically to the video room that you may have been in previously for your last hearing , therefore it is important to confirm that the pin number is correct and corresponds with the pin number stated in the email before clicking connect.

  • Mute your computer microphone whilst you are not being spoken to, this will limit any background noise.

  • If there are persisting difficulties joining CVP, do dial into the hearing by telephone, instructions on how to dial in will be on the email or contact the court for further assistance.

Don’ts

  • Do not be in a noisy environment, this will affect your sound quality and may cause disruption during the hearing.

  • Do not use internet explorer when trying to join your CVP hearing as this will not work.

  • Do not attempt to join the CVP room a couple of hours before the hearing is meant to start, this may result into you being kicked out of the room as the Judge may be dealing with another case beforehand.

  • Do not allow anyone in the room to be present with you during the hearing; unless granted permission by the court for a McKenzie friend or any other person requested.

  • Do not record the hearing as this is a criminal offence. This will be reinforced by the clerk or the Judge at the start of the hearing.

  • Do not panic if you get disconnected during the hearing, as this may be a technical glitch. Just re-join the video hearing by following the same steps as before and ensure your Wi-Fi connection is working.



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