When you do get your instructions from the court on how to join your hearing you need to read these carefully.
If your hearing is going to be by video call, the court will tell you which video call system will be used. Currently, there are two different systems. One is called Cloud Video Platform (or CVP) and the new one is called Video Hearings service (or VH).
- 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.
The court service has a useful guide on what to do if your hearing has to take place by phone or video call that
explains more about the two different video hearing systems and how to prepare. It is really import that you read the guidance carefully.
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, 09.30am - 4.30pm, 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.