US Housing Court Virtual Hearings
Analysis was undertaken regarding the procedures of 5 courts currently using virtual hearings to resolve housing matters: Cleveland, Massachusetts, Kansas City, Cowlitz County and Dekalb County.
Cleveland Housing Court
- Access information for attendees is available by emailing Housing Court staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for criminal proceedings or email@example.com for civil proceedings.
- Cleveland Housing Court is providing access to court proceedings for public observation via Zoom. Those who wish to sit in on a virtual hearing have to call (216) 664-4295. They will be asked to provide identifying information including their email.
- Case participants will receive an email invitation from the court with specific information that must be followed. The Zoom link, meeting ID and password will only be provided to those who have requested to attend the proceeding.
Massachusetts Housing Court
- Those who wish to listen to a Housing Court case via a public access telephone line have to first find the session the case is assigned to on the Daily List report of the Housing Court Division that is conducting the court event. They must then call a toll free number for the assigned session and enter a publicly available Participant Passcode when prompted.
- When the session begins, they will be connected to the audio for the event. They will not be able to participate in the session. They are also prohibited from recording the event.
Kansas City, Missouri Housing Court
- Virtual hearings will take place until August 31. After that they will be optional but encouraged. Defendants in housing cases must schedule their virtual court appearance to take place prior to their scheduled court date. Otherwise, they must come to court on their scheduled court date.
- There is a virtual calendar with hearing dates, times and courtrooms. Clicking on it opens an invitation with a Zoom link. There is also the option to dial in by phone using the Midwest (Chicago region) number and the meeting ID and Password. The judge admits people to the virtual hearing. Observers can watch virtual hearings through a YouTube live stream. Recordings are prohibited.
Cowlitz County, Washington District Court
- Cowlitz County District Court is utilizing the Zoom platform for remote participation in court hearings including housing hearings. Parties should appear remotely, unless required to personally appear. The use of video is preferred and highly encouraged, but defendants may also appear for their hearing by telephone. Zoom telephone numbers are posted on the county website for this purpose.
- Zoom information for each hearing is posted to the county website by the end of business the day prior. To view court proceedings, there are links on the county website to YouTube live streams for each courtroom.