How to Appear for Your Hearing

In certain circumstances, the San Diego Superior Court may allow appearances for hearings to be either in-person or remote.

To Appear In-Person:

Please arrive at the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your scheduled hearing and report directly to the assigned courtroom.

To Appear Remotely:

You can attend the hearing by video or audio conference using the free Microsoft Teams App, unless otherwise ordered by the court.

Days before the hearing, download the free Teams App on your mobile device or computer. See instructions below for how to set up your device or computer with Teams to join by video conference.

Using a desktop computer or laptop: click here to access a tip sheet on how to download Microsoft Teams to your computer or click below to view a step by-step video.

Using a smartphone mobile device or tablet: click here to access a tip sheet on how to download Microsoft Teams to your mobile device or click below to view a step-by-step video.

If you do not have a computer or smartphone, Microsoft Teams hearings can be accessed by calling the corresponding conference call phone number. These phone numbers are listed on each of the links to hearings pages by case type.

If you do not have a telephone and/or if your type of hearing will require an in-person appearance, please go to the courthouse and courtroom where your matter will be heard to appear in person.

Joining the hearing:

  1. From your device or computer, refer to the list of MS Teams links assigned to the departments below. You will find the courtroom on your notice or court paperwork. Click on the Teams link assigned to the department that will hear your case.
  2. Join the hearing from a room with no or minimal background noise.
  3. Join the hearing 30 minutes before the start time indicated in your hearing notice so the courtroom clerk can check you in.

Tips for participants who join the Teams meeting (video conferencing)

  1. Click on the Teams link assigned to the department that will hear your case. Refer to the instructions on setting up Teams on your device or computer if you have not done so.
     
  2. Teams will launch and show the following screen. Fill in the Enter name field with 'First Name Last Name - Party description' (for example: 'Amy Smith - Petitioner' or 'Robert Jones - Attorney for Petitioner'). Click Join Now and ensure you have muted your mic before joining as pictured.

     

    video call
     

  3. All participants will wait separately in a virtual lobby. You will see a screen indicating 'Someone in the meeting should let you in soon'. The courtroom clerk will admit each participant into the hearing when ready to do so. Please wait patiently and do not exit the lobby if you are not immediately admitted. If you have joined the meeting early, or if the Court is delayed, the lobby may time out. If this occurs, please re-join the meeting.

     


     

  4. After the courtroom clerk admits you into the meeting, you will hear and see the courtroom and other participants. The courtroom clerk may ask you to confirm your name and address. Please unmute your mic and enable your camera.

Tips for participants who join the meeting by phone (teleconferencing)

  1. If you are unable to appear by video conference or if you have technical difficulties such as poor video quality or a poor internet connection during a video conference hearing, join the hearing by telephone by dialing the conference number assigned to the department conducting the hearing, conference ID followed by #. The judicial officer will decide whether the proceeding can continue by teleconference, or if the matter will be continued to a later time when you can appear by video conference or the court has resumed in-person hearings.

  2. Muting and unmuting your phone:

    1. Press * 6 to mute or unmute your phone, or if your phone has a mute button, you may use that instead.

    2. The Court can also mute participants who have joined the hearing by telephone.

  3. Participants should not place the Court on hold, or put the phone on speakerphone, as this will decrease audio quality.

Safety in virtual hearings

Participants should be mindful of their personal safety when participating in virtual hearings, including by considering the following: If joining the hearing using video, consider turning on background blur, or sitting in front of a neutral background such as a blank wall or door.

If there are safety concerns about appearing with video turned on, the Judge/Commissioner may permit a party to participate in the hearing using only audio.

If joining a Microsoft Teams hearing by telephone, participants may switch caller ID off before dialing the conference number. If the caller ID is on, participants should be aware that their phone number will be displayed in the Microsoft Teams meeting to others participating using the desktop app, web browser version, or smartphone app (but will not be visible to other participants also dialing in on the telephone). Switching caller ID off means that only a random 9-digit number will be shown.

Be sure to set aside time to participate in the hearing distraction-free and without children present.

Technology tips

Use a headset or headphones that have a microphone (such as most headphones that come with smartphones), to avoid echo and increase audio quality. Ensure you select the headphones in the settings for ‘Devices’ as the microphone and speaker. If you have the volume turned up and audio coming through the speakers of your device, it may be picked up by your microphone and create an echo. If other participants are complaining of echo and you cannot hear any echo, it is likely that you are the cause.

Ensure you are in a quiet, distraction-free location with good lighting and minimal background noise.

Participants should have their microphone muted, and cameras switched off when they are not speaking or not required to be seen, as directed by the Judge/Commissioner.

If appearing by telephone, do not place the Court on hold. Speak directly into the phone or headset. Do not place the phone on speakerphone, as it will decrease audio quality.

Ensure devices are fully charged before the hearing and have chargers nearby. Videoconferencing can drain the battery of devices.

Note: In case of a Microsoft Teams outage, the Court will use Zoom to conduct virtual hearings

Please visit the hearings link for each case type for the current links to access individual virtual hearings.