A lot of court and tribunal hearings happen over the phone or by video call. These are sometimes called ‘remote hearings’.
You’ll need to prepare for a remote hearing and treat it with respect like a face to face hearing.
If your hearing is over the phone, the court will usually call you. If you have to call the court, the call will be free.
If you use your mobile phone for a video call hearing, it’s best to use wifi if you can. If you use your phone’s data instead, it might be expensive.
The court or tribunal will call you before the hearing to check you:
Think about whether to agree to a remote hearing or ask for a face to face hearing instead.
For example, you might not want a remote hearing if:
Ask the court or tribunal what will happen if you don’t agree to have a remote hearing. You can find the contact details for your court or tribunal on GOV.UK. You might have to wait a long time for a face to face hearing – think about what effect this delay will have on you.
Tell the court or tribunal as soon as possible that you want a face to face hearing instead. It’s usually best to call them – you can find the contact details for your court or tribunal on GOV.UK.
Tell them why you don’t want a remote hearing. For example, tell them if:
The court or tribunal might agree to wait until they can arrange a face to face hearing. This means you might have to wait a long time to get a result.
Make sure you’ve got all the documents you need for the hearing. The court or tribunal will usually send you a collection of documents with page numbers. This is sometimes called a 'bundle'.
The letters from the court or tribunal should say if you can have someone with you during the hearing – for example a friend or family member. If you’re allowed someone with you, they can give you support, take notes and help you with paperwork. If you have a legal representative, they’ll also join the remote hearing.
Tell the court or tribunal as soon as possible if you’ve got any questions or you’re worried about the hearing. Tell them if you’ll need any extra support at the hearing – for example if you need to take breaks often. You can find the contact details for your court or tribunal on GOV.UK.
Try to find somewhere quiet where you won’t be interrupted. Make sure your phone won’t make noises during the hearing.
If the hearing is by video call, you should also:
Don’t eat or drink anything during the hearing – except water.
Make sure your phone or device doesn’t record the call – it’s against the law to record a hearing.
At the start of the hearing, tell the judge if:
During the hearing, try to speak as clearly as you can. Tell the judge if you don’t hear or understand anything.
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