DC Superior Court Enhances Remote Access to Court Hearings as it Expands the Number of Remote Courtrooms
Since the DC Courts first reduced operations due to the pandemic, members of the public have access court hearings even though they were 'remote' was a priority. DC Superior Court has had courtrooms operating with people participating remotely, including the judge, attorneys, parties to the case, witnesses and other agency representatives since mid-March. The number of remote courtrooms has expanded from just a handful the first few days after the pandemic struck DC, to 37 remote courtrooms by the end of June, with the goal of having 57 courtrooms operating fully remotely by the end of July. On July 6, the court upgraded the its remote system, with a dedicated telephone number for each operating remote courtroom. The new links and phone numbers are now on the courts' website along with information on how to easily access court hearings remotely.
"We are pleased to offer access not just to those involved in a case but to any member of the public who may want to know what happens in various court hearings. When courtrooms operate normally, any member of public is able to enter the courtroom and to observe. When we went to remote operations in mid-March, we ensured that through technology, people were able to listen-in to hearings remotely for any public court hearing. Now we have posted connection information on our website, so that any member of the public can observe any non-confidential hearing, whenever they choose," said DC Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin. "I want to commend our Information Technology Division's Courtroom Technology Branch on how quickly they got us to this level of remote operations, allowing us to meet our goal of full public access to court hearings."
For those interested in listening-in on court hearings, a single page of the Courts' website has easy-to-understand instructions, courtroom remote access links, phone numbers, meeting identification numbers. The information can be found at www.dccourts.gov/remote.