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Practical Guidance regarding Telephone Hearings

Date:23 APR 2020
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Many court hearings are currently being conducted by telephone or video link. This guide provides useful tips and advice on preparing for and attending a telephone hearing.

What information will the Court need before my telephone hearing?

  • You will need to provide the Court with your preferred telephone number. The Court will call you on the day of the telephone hearing and invite you to join the hearing.

 

  • If you have instructed a Solicitor, your Solicitor will provide the Court with your preferred telephone number (if this isn’t the telephone number which your Solicitor has on their file for you, then you should provide your Solicitor with your preferred telephone number a few days in advance of the hearing date).


    What can I do to prepare for my telephone hearing?

  • The Court will usually call you from an unknown number. If you use call barring services, then you must turn this off so that the Court can call you.

     

  • Make sure that your phone is fully charged and, if you are using a mobile telephone, that you have a strong signal in order to avoid being cut off during the hearing.

     

  • Think ahead about where you will sit during the telephone hearing. You will need a quiet private space. Although your hearing is being heard by telephone this does not change the seriousness of the hearing.

     

  • Make sure that others cannot overhear the hearing and if you live with others (especially a child who may be the subject of the hearing) do not put your phone on loudspeaker during the hearing. 
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How do I join my telephone hearing?

 

  • Make sure you are ready to join the hearing at least 15 mins before it is due to start. This will help you feel ready for the start of the hearing.

To join the hearing:

  • You will hear a welcome message saying you’re invited to join a conference call
  • Press* [star] to join
  • Say your name
  • Press the # [hash] key
  • Once you have joined the hearing, stay on mute until you are asked to speak

 

If you require technical support to join a telephone hearing you can call the Court’s audio and video hearing support line on 0330 8089405.


What will happen during my telephone hearing?

 

  • Once all the parties have joined the hearing, a member of the Court staff (usually the Judge’s Clerk) will introduce themselves and explain how the hearing will work and what you need to do. The Judge’s Clerk will then invite the Judge to join the hearing.

     

  • The Judge will usually invite the legal representatives of each party to speak to avoid the parties speaking over one another.

     

  • If you do not have legal representation at the hearing, then the Judge will talk to you directly and invite you to speak, again to avoid the parties speaking over one another.

     

  • The issues discussed at the hearing will be the same as if the hearing were held in person.

     

  • The hearing will be recorded.


What if I lose connection during my telephone hearing?

  • Don’t panic. The Court will call you back and invite you to re-join the hearing.


    What happens after the hearing?

  • The Judge or Judge’s Clerk will confirm that the hearing has finished and tell you when you can leave the call.

     

  • You may want to speak to your Barrister or Solicitor after the hearing or your Barrister or Solicitor may want to speak to you. You should leave the telephone hearing first before doing this. 
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