When you do get your instructions from the court on how to join your hearing you need to read these carefully.
The court service has a useful guide on what to do if your hearing has to take place by phone or video call It is really import that you read the guidance carefully.
The court service has also made a helpful video about hearings via video call. There is also a version with British Sign Language and subtitles in English, Welsh, Bangla, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu.
If you have a video call hearing, there are two different systems, or ‘platforms’, that the court can use for the hearing. The court will tell you which one you will need to use.
Cloud Video Platform
You might hear people talking about a CVP hearing. This is short for Cloud Video Platform and is the court service’s system for running secure video hearings. There is a guide called How to join Cloud Video Platform for a video hearing to help you understand how it works so that you are well prepared by the day of your hearing.
Help with technical problems - CVP
If you have problems with sorting out the technology to take part you can get help by calling the HMCTS national helpline on 0330 8089405 - Monday to Friday.
It is really important to call this number as soon as possible if you come across any technical problems so they can be sorted out quickly.
Video Hearings service
There is a newer system that is being introduced called the Video Hearings service or VH for short. If you are told by the court that your hearing will take place on this service, you need to read HMCTS Video Hearings service: guidance for joining a hearing.
Help with technical problems - Video Hearings service
Telephone: 0300 303 0655
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except public holidays)
It is a good idea to read the guide for your type of video hearing very carefully, well before your hearing so that you can re-read any tricky bits, test your equipment, and feel more confident on the day.
When you get the information from the court about your video hearing, it is really important to follow the instructions as soon as possible on:
- which internet browser to use, and,
- how to test your equipment.
You then need to test your equipment, before the hearing to make sure it works properly. That way, if you have any problems you will have time to get in touch with the court to let them know.
Paperwork for the hearing
In most hearings there will be important documents that the judge, and other people involved, will look at. Lawyers call these papers the court ‘bundle’. This just means a file of papers that everyone involved in the case, including the judge, can see. You need to make sure you can see these too, before and during the hearing.
The court may send these documents to you in electronic form, by email. If this happens you will need to have a way to see these documents whilst in the hearing, such as on another computer screen. If this isn’t possible and you don’t have a lawyer, you can ask the court to send you a printed copy. Ideally, you should have all the documents you need a good few days before the hearing, so that you can read them carefully. If you aren’t sure you have what you need, contact the court - using the contact information on any letters or emails you have received - to make sure you get it in good time.
Support during your hearing
You might want support from someone during your phone or video hearing. There are steps you need to take to find out if the judge hearing your case will agree to this. There is a guide called How to have someone support you in a remote hearing that explains how to go about this. Support Through Court is a charity that may be able to help you. You can fill in an online request form on their website or you can call their National Helpline on 03000 810 006 (Monday-Friday, 10.30am - 3.30pm, except Bank Holidays).
If you need to contact the court for any reason there should be contact details of the court dealing with your case on the paperwork you receive from the court, by post or email.