Zoom hearing resources

Because of COVID-19, many courtrooms are closed, and some court hearings are being conducted remotely. A remote hearing is when some or all of the people participate by video or by phone instead of in person. The information below may help you prepare for a remote hearing. This information is also available to download or print.

FAQs

How do I know if I have a remote hearing?

The court will notify you if your hearing is remote. They may contact you by U.S. Mail, email, or phone. They will also notify the other parties in your case.

Will the court tell me how to join the remote hearing?

Yes. The court will send you instructions on how to join your remote hearing by video or by phone. Courts may use different apps and processes. Visit your court's website or call your court to find out how your court does remote hearings.

What if I don't have reliable internet or a phone?

Contact the clerk of circuit court as soon as possible. The clerk may:

  • Postpone the hearing until everyone can participate safely, or
  • Help you find a way to participate, such as free WiFi hot spots, or access to a phone or internet connection.

What if I can't join at the scheduled hearing time?

You must have a good reason why you cannot be present at the scheduled time. And you must tell the court before the hearing. Go to your county's court website and it will explain how to contact the court.

What should I expect during the hearing?

  • When you first join, the court may take you from a "waiting room" to the "hearing room."
  • The court will make sure you can hear, be heard, and go over all the rules.
  • You will see a picture or name of each person in your hearing on your screen. If needed, change the name on your picture to identify yourself.
  • Be aware that your hearing may be live-streamed to the public.

What if I need an interpreter?

If you or any of your witnesses need language assistance services (such as an interpreter), let the clerk of circuit court know as soon as possible. There is an interpretation function available in Zoom. For more information, see this information sheet.

What if I need legal help?

If you need more information or help finding a lawyer, visit the self-help law center resources page on wicourts.gov.

General tips

  • Find a quiet place where people or pets won't disturb you.
  • Have all your papers ready, including a list of what you want to say to the court.
  • Know what time your hearing starts and how to log on or what number to call.
  • Set the camera at eye level. If using your phone or a tablet or iPad, prop it up or use a stand so you don't have to hold it.
  • Dress the way you would if you were going to court in person.
  • Sit in a well-lit area with no bright lights or windows directly behind you.
  • No smoking, eating, or driving during the hearing.

Audio & sound quality tips

  • Mute yourself when not speaking to improve sound quality. If you are using a phone, dial *6 (star and the number six) to mute and unmute yourself.
  • Speak slowly and do not interrupt.