A Minnesota custody or divorce hearing conducted by video call may seem strange from your computer in your living room. However, it has become a regular occurrence for Minnesota courts. During the Governors Walz’ Executive Stay-at-Home Order, courts started conducting hearings via video zoom calls. Despite the order being lifted, courts still continue to utilize remote resources for most of their hearings.
Remote hearing options allow for some benefits such as not having to drive through traffic to the courthouse or having to go through security. However, attendance at any court hearing can be stressful for many parties. Proper preparation can help ensure your remote hearing is a success.
Preparing for the Hearing
Prior to your hearing, you will receive a pleading called a “Notice of Remote Hearing” from the court. This will include instructions for sharing exhibits and logging on to the hearing. From your Notice of Remote Hearing, you will need the following information to login:
- Video Call Web Address
- Meeting ID Number
- Meeting Password Number
When attending a hearing via zoom or other video call systems, your computer is a vital element. Prior to the hearing, it is always best to ensure you have a stable computer with adequate Wi-Fi to avoid disruption. Additionally, you may want to test your computer’s video and sound.
Ensure you are in a space without disruptions or distractions for the hearing. It may be a good idea to find care for your children or pets for the duration of the remote hearing.
Attending the Hearing
A remote hearing should be treated the same as a hearing conducted at the physical courthouse. You are still virtually present in a court of law and the hearing will be on the record. You should be timely and appropriately dressed. The best practice for attending the hearing is to sign on to the website about five minutes prior to the scheduled time. This will ensure you are prepared when the court is ready to start. If the hearing does not start directly on time, do not be alarmed. Courts have large daily dockets and they may run a few minutes behind.
The procedure or format of the hearing should be similar to a normal, in-person court hearing. Many people may be present on the video call such as the judge, court clerks, court reporter, attorneys, and opposing party. Because of the amount of people in attendance of the hearing, it is best to wait to talk until directed. If numerous people talk at once, it can be very difficult for the court reported to transcribe the hearing. Placing your microphone on mute when not speaking can also reduce possible extra noise. The judge will direct participants when it is their opportunity to speak. Remote hearings may feel a little unusual but proper preparation can help ease your pre-hearing stress and ensure everything runs smoothly.
If you have any questions about remote hearings or need representation on an upcoming matter, contact our office today. Our attorneys have been utilizing remote court services since the beginning of the pandemic. They are ready to assist and ensure you are ready and prepared for every court appearance. Call us today at (763) 323-6555 or submit an online contact inquiry through our website.