How to prepare for a remote hearing in Georgia (video)




Because of COVID-19 many courtrooms are closed, and most court hearings are now remote. That means you will be asked to participate by video or by phone. 

The court will notify you if your hearing is remote and should send you instructions on how to join your remote hearing by video or by phone. 

If you don’t have Internet or a phone, you should contact the court as soon as possible. They may:

  • Postpone the hearing until everyone can participate safely, or

  • Help you find a way to participate.

You must have a good reason if you cannot be present at the scheduled time. And you must tell the court before the hearing. Go to your court’s website. It will explain how to contact the court.

Before the hearing, you should:

  • Make sure you have a good Internet connection.

  • Download Zoom (or other app your court uses). Practice with the app so you feel comfortable.

  • Charge your computer or mobile device. If you are calling in by phone, make sure you have enough minutes.

  • Use earbuds or headphones, if you can. This frees up your hands, and improves sound quality.

  • Email the court any evidence, like documents or photos.

  • Tell the court if you have witnesses. The court will tell them how to join the hearing.

During the hearing, you can expect:

  • When you first join, the judge will take you from a “waiting room” to the “hearing room.” Only the people in your case will be in your hearing room.

  • The judge will make sure you can hear and talk, and go over all the rules.

  • You will see a picture or name of each person in your hearing on your screen. The first one you see is the person who is speaking.

  • Your hearing is live and will be recorded. Everyone there can hear what you say. It may even be open to the public.

  • The judge decides most cases at the end of the hearing.

Remember! You may be connecting from home, but it is still a court hearing. Pay attention, and follow all rules.

Every court system has its own set of procedures, contact the court where your case is being heard for more information on remote hearings.

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Last Review and Update: Aug 04, 2020
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