If you will be a case participant in a Zoomgov video hearing with the court (attorney, witness, case party, etc.), preparing properly will ensure all involved will have a good experience using this system.
For security and enforcement of court standards, the court may disable Zoom interactions (such as chat, screen share, whiteboard, Q&A, raise hand, react, etc.).
Persons participating in video proceedings are reminded of the general prohibition against photographing, recording, streaming and rebroadcasting of court proceedings. Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or teleconference, (including streaming, screen-shots or any other audio or video reproduction) is absolutely prohibited by policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Zoom Account and Software
- Participants: If you do not already have a Zoom account, set one up at https://zoom.us. A paid Zoom account is not necessary for any interaction with the court. Attendees do not need a Zoom account, but it does make connecting to a hearing easier.
- Log into https://zoom.us/profile and set your name, phone and email. Including a photo will help identify you when connecting. Attendees do not need a Zoom profile or to provide any identity information, but it does make connecting to a hearing easier.
- Install the latest Zoom Client for Meetings at https://zoomgov.com/download. Although Zoom can be used in a browser only, it is very limited. The full Zoom client is required for best functionality and best experience communicating with the court.
- Always keep your software up to date! The Zoom Client should automatically update itself upon launching the software, but you can also update it manually.
Zoom has a lot of settings, and as Zoom updates their system they may change aspects. Below are a few settings recommended by the court to improve your video conference:
- General: Ask me to confirm when I leave a meeting: ON (Helps prevent unintended departures)
- Video: Enable HD: OFF (Helps prevent poor video performance, and usually looks just as good as HD)
- Video: Always display participant names on their video: ON
- Video: Always show video preview dialog when joining a video meeting: ON (Final check before your video displays to others)
- Remember that you are bringing matters before the court and although you are not physically in a courtroom, appropriate dress and decorum should be maintained.
- Mute your phone and mute all sounds from all other applications (email notifications, chat messaging, etc.). When you are ready to speak, you can press the space bar. When you release it, you will be muted automatically.
- Avoid using a mobile device if possible. Although tablets (iPads) and smartphones can be used, they are very limited, and the performance is inferior.
- Avoid using battery power only (laptops, etc.). Plug into a good power source while in a Zoom meeting.
- Unless you’ve confirmed the quality is sufficient, avoid using an open microphone and speakers (such as are built-into laptops, or a webcam mic). Using a good quality headset (headphones with mic) will often help ensure you can be heard and can hear others with maximum quality.
- Avoid eating during proceedings. If you wouldn’t do it in a courtroom, you shouldn’t do it during a virtual proceeding.
- Avoid noisy and echoing locations. Use of a headset will improve audio quality when this is unavoidable.
- Avoid distracting real or virtual backgrounds.
- Avoid poor camera positioning (if possible). Try to frame yourself so you take up most the screen, and at eye level.
- Avoid using WiFi if possible. Connection via a hard-wire Ethernet cable will always be faster and more reliable than WiFi. If you must use WiFi, make sure you’re in close range.
- Avoid running any unnecessary applications besides Zoom, to conserve your computer’s processing power and networking.
Learn how to select the correct audio and video source, and how to mute/unmute your audio, and Start/Stop your video:
- Video: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200521865-Video
- Audio: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200319096-Audio
- Learn how to easily mute/unmute with Push to talk: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360000510003-Push-to-Talk
- Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts to start/stop video, mute, etc.: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205683899-Hot-Keys-and-Keyboard-Shortcuts-for-Zoom
Connecting to the Zoom Meeting
To join the Zoom meeting, simply follow the instructions provided above and click the "Join Now" link for the relevant Zoom Meeting below. Enter the seven-digit Passcode/Participant ID as prompted. Alternatively, you can dial into the Zoom meeting by clicking the "Call Now" link if using a mobile phone or by dialing the phone number provided. When dialing in, you'll be asked for the Meeting ID followed by the Participant ID. Please refer to the specific Zoom meeting information for the Judge assigned to your case, which can be found below.
You may be placed on hold until the courtroom deputy activates the Zoom meeting, or you may hear others speaking. Another hearing may be in progress; do not announce your presence until the courtroom deputy takes roll call or your hearing is called.
If you have problems connecting or the courtroom deputy does not activate the Zoom meeting within 5 minutes after your scheduled hearing time, call the court at: 801-524-6627 or 801-524-6687.
ZOOM MEETING HEARING REQUIREMENTS
- The Court will not call you.
- Ten minutes before your hearing time, you must connect to the Zoom meeting.
Minimize Outside Noise and Distractions
- Zoom hearings are amplified throughout the courtroom so you may be asked to call again if your connection is weak, creates static or a disruptive noise.
- Minimize background noise. Do not use a keyboard or talk with others in the room.
- Mute your microphone when you are not speaking.
- Do not put the court on hold.
What to Do When You Are on the Zoom meeting
- Do not announce your presence until the court calls your case.
- Stay in the meeting, even if there is only silence, until the judge starts the hearing, and then continue to listen quietly until your case is called.
What to Do When your Case is Called
- The Court will control who will speak and how the hearing will be held. If there are more than three parties appearing at a hearing, the court may take a roll call rather than asking for appearances of parties.
- Unless otherwise directed by the Court, when your case is called and to avoid multiple parties speaking at the same time, the moving party should speak first. For Chapter 13 Confirmation hearings, the Chapter 13 Trustee will be deemed the moving party.
- Identify yourself every time you speak.
- When your hearing is completed, please drop off the meeting.
Don’t be Late to a Hearing
- If you are late, then the Court, at its discretion, may call your hearing at the end of the calendar and/or deny or grant the applicable motion.
- Be civil on the call with the Court and other parties.
- Do not interrupt others.
- Do not yell into the microphone.