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Remote Court Hearings via Zoom or Webex

Welcome to the Judiciary’s Remote Court Hearings Information Page

Here you will learn what a remote court hearing is, if your hearing will be heard remotely, and how to participate if this applies to you.

You will also have access to tips on how to make the most of your video appearance and how to get court interpreting assistance.

Important Notice

Recording a court proceeding is strictly prohibited unless permission is granted by the court. The news media must notify a coordinator of the intent to provide film, videotape or still photographic coverage of a judicial proceeding by submitting the appropriate form. Any violation of Hawaii Supreme Court Rules 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3 may result in appropriate punishment.

Remote Court Hearing by Videoconference
Frequently Asked Questions

(Updated 6/1/2020)

1. What is a remote court hearing?

A remote court hearing means that you and the other participants may be participating from somewhere other than the courtroom using videoconferencing. The judge and court staff will be in the courtroom. You will be able to see and hear the judge and other participants.

The Hawaii State Judiciary is offering this service to minimize in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic and give you the opportunity to participate more safely and conveniently.

The Judiciary is using Cisco Webex Cloud or Zoom to provide the videoconferencing service. Each court decides which one to use. Both of them are free and can be accessed on a home computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You will need internet access or a data plan that allows you to view video.

If you do not have internet or the data to participate by video, you can call a toll-free phone number to participate by phone only. The court may also choose to call you if you provide your phone number in advance. For instructions on how to participate in your remote hearing please refer to the instructions from the court.

General information about how to use the Cisco Webex and Zoom video and phone features can be found on the Judiciary website.  Links are in the boxed area on the right side of this page, or on the bottom of the page if you are using a smartphone or tablet.

2. How do I know if I have a hearing scheduled?

If the court has not already given you a hearing date and instructions on how to participate, it will contact you. You will be informed on whether to appear in-person, by phone, and/or by videoconferencing.  If you are unsure whether you have a court hearing or how to participate, contact the court as soon as possible.

3. If I am scheduled for a remote hearing, will the court let me know?

Yes, the court will notify you if you are scheduled to appear at a hearing remotely and will send you instructions on how to do it. The court will contact you, so please plan accordingly. 

4. What if I do not have internet or phone access or cannot attend remotely?

Contact the court staff as soon as possible to let them know. They may be able to help by rescheduling your hearing or by making other accommodations as appropriate.

5. How do I participate in a remote hearing by video or by phone?

Details on about how to participate in your remote hearing and whether it will be by Cisco WebEx or Zoom, will be provided to you by the court before the date of your hearing. General information about how to use Cisco WebEx and Zoom can be found on the Judiciary website. Links are in the boxed area on the right side of this page, or on the bottom of the page if you are using a smartphone or tablet.

6. What if I need an interpreter or other accommodations for the remote hearing?

If you need an interpreter or other accommodation for your hearing, you must let the court know in advance so arrangements can be made.

During the hearing, if you are having trouble hearing or using the remote hearing technology, let the court know as soon as possible.

7. What should I expect during the remote hearing?
  • When you first join, you may be placed in a virtual “waiting room” before the court is ready to move you to the “hearing room” for your case. If using Zoom, the court can send you a message while in the “waiting room,” but other participants will not be able to see or contact you.
  • When you are moved to the “hearing room,” you will see the judge and other parties on your screen. The judge will make sure you can hear and be heard, and will explain the rules of the remote hearing. If at any time you cannot hear the court or other parties when they speak, immediately let the court know.
  • Your hearing is live and will be recorded. Everyone will hear what you say. Place yourself on “mute” when not speaking, and listen carefully to the court’s instructions.
  • When your hearing is complete and if using Zoom, the court may place you in a “breakout room” for court staff to speak to you about your case before you leave the remote hearing.
8. What if I am participating in a remote hearing, and my internet or phone data runs out or I run out of battery on the device I am using?

Fully charge your device before the hearing begins and keep it plugged into the charger, if possible. If you sense that you are running out of data or battery, let the court know as soon as possible by sending a message using the “chat” feature. Even if you aren’t using your phone for the hearing, keep it near you with the call-in number easily available, just in case. Please make sure your phone is on silent.

Contact the court as soon as possible if any technical difficulties prevent you from participating in the hearing either by video or by phone.

9. Do you have any tips for participating in a remote hearing?

Yes, here are some tips on how to make the most of your remote hearing participation:

Before the meeting

  • Download the Cisco Webex or Zoom App and test the equipment you plan to use for the video conference at least one day in advance. Make sure your computer or mobile device is fully charged, and that you have a good internet connection.
  • Sit in front of a neutral background, such as a wall, in a well-lit area where you won’t be disturbed.
  •  Dress as you would to appear in court.
  •  Place your camera at face-height.
  • Close all other programs on your computer.
  • Use earbuds or headphones, if you can. This improves sound quality.
  • If you will be using exhibits:
    • Clearly label all documents and send to the court and all parties at least 24 hours before the hearing.
    • The Judiciary staff member hosting the meeting will be able to show the document on the screen during the video conference.

During the meeting

  • Log in to the meeting at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Keep your microphone on “mute” when you are not speaking.
  • Keep your telephone near you during the meeting in case of technical difficulties, but make sure it is on silent.
  • Do not make any recording of the hearing. If you do, the court may sanction you.
  • If you need to display an exhibit that you have sent to the court in advance, tell the court: “I would now like to show [exhibit].” The staff member hosting the meeting will show it so all meeting participants can see your exhibit.