Remote Appearances FAQ

Civil Mandatory Settlement Conferences

NOTE: Click here for information about video appearances in Civil Mandatory Settlement Conferences. The Court is using a separate videoconferencing system only for Civil settlement conferences.

What do I need to get started?

  1. Depending on the type of hearing, you either be required to self-schedule your remote appearance on the Court’s website or file the proper remote appearance forms. To determine the eligibility and requirements to appear remotely, select your case type here: Remote appearance system
  2. If your hearing requires written notice be filed with the court, follow the form requirements outlined on the case-type specific remote appearance page.
  3. If your hearing type is eligible for self-scheduling, go to https://epayment.placerco.org/VCourtPortals/ no later than 4pm the court day before your hearing. This is the deadline to schedule your appearance; after this time, you will see a “no valid events” message in red when searching for your case and you will be unable to schedule your remote appearance.

 

Please note, in order to self-schedule a remote appearance:

  1. Your hearing must be set with the court within the next 30 days and eligible for a remote appearance (if your event is set more than 30 days out, you will not be able to schedule a remote appearance until a later date).
  2. You are using a device with internet to schedule your appearance.
  3. You have an email address that has an account registered with CA Courts Identity. You will receive confirmation via email for your remote appearance.
  4. You will need your case number and, in civil and family cases, credit card information to pay the fee. When searching for your case, you will need to enter the complete case number, including dashes. 

 

Video: How to Schedule for Remote Appearance

 


RELATED INFORMATION

FAQs

What do I need to attend my appearance?

Once you’ve signed up for a remote appearance, you will need ONE of the following:

  • A computer equipped with a microphone and camera (Apple or PC).

When joining on a computer, it is strongly recommended that those appearing remotely download the Microsoft Teams desktop application. You may choose that download when first entering the Teams meeting or you may separately download the program at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/download-app. If joining from a browser, Google Chrome 65 and Microsoft Edge 83 (or later) are recommended.

-OR-

  • Tablet or mobile device (Apple or Android)

When joining on a tablet or mobile device, you’ll be required to download the Teams mobile app to join the meeting.

For a better internet connection, use a wired connection with your computer and connect your tablet to Wi-Fi. We do not recommend using cellular data as it may cause quality issues with video conferencing.

As a reminder, you must be indoors in a quiet location.

Are remote appearances provided the same day as my hearing?

No, pursuant to the Court's Local Rules, remote appearance links will not be provided the same-day as your hearing. Please ensure you have properly set up your remote appearance in advance of your hearing.

How do I test if my device is compatible with Microsoft Teams?

The Teams “Test Call” feature is currently only available in Teams desktop app for Windows and Mac. Microsoft outlines the steps to make a test call on their website:

  1. In the Teams desktop app, select Settings and more (***) next to your profile picture at the top of Teams and then choose Settings > Devices.
  2. Choose Make a test call under Audio devices.
  3. In a test call, you'll see how your mic, speaker, and camera are working. Follow the instructions from Test Call Bot and record a short message. The message will play back for you. After that, you'll get a summary of the test call, and you can go to your device settings to make changes.
How do I join my conference?

Click the Join Link located in in your confirmation email. Click here to download the Microsoft Teams Desktop Application in advance of your hearing.

You will be placed into the lobby of the meeting once connected, and later admitted into the meeting by the courtroom. Enter any meeting with your mic muted and camera off. Further instructions can be found in your confirmation email about your appearance.

I see an option to join my phone. Should I join my conference through the join link or by phone?

Please join by clicking on the Meeting Join Link whenever possible. Participating by audio-only (backup conference phone option) severely impacts the efficiency of the courtroom as your name does not display and only your phone number appears.

If you have audio or video problems, or do not have access to join by computer or smart phone, you may join using the backup conference phone number.

How should I name myself when joining the meeting?

Please enter both your first and last name when joining the meeting. It is highly encouraged to also include your case number.

I joined the hearing on time, but was disconnected from the lobby after waiting for 30 minutes. Did I do something wrong?

All participants will enter the meeting lobby (a virtual waiting room) before the hearing begins. If you are in the meeting lobby for more than 30 minutes, Microsoft Teams automatically ends the session and you will need to rejoin. If this happens, select Rejoin, or refer back to your confirmation email and re-click the Meeting Join Link.

You will be admitted into the meeting once the calendar starts or when your case is called.

I lost network connection and dropped out of the hearing. How do I get back in?

Click on the conference link in your confirmation email and you will be reconnected.

My hearing is scheduled for a specific time, but what time should I really join?

You should always join the conference by the allotted start time unless Court staff have provided you with other instructions.

The courtroom video is cropped and I am unable to see the Judicial Officer and/or attorney. How do I change the view?

Teams default crops videos to make each participant’s video fit the meeting screen better. Microsoft outlines the steps to customize your view of the Teams meeting on their website:

Reframe the video: Right click the three dots for the courtroom video and select Fit to frame to see the entire video.

Pin courtroom video: Right click the three dots for the courtroom video and select Pin. You can pin additional participants or unpin the courtroom if needed.

My hearing was continued or has another hearing set. Do I have to reschedule or can I use the same link and conference ID/PIN to connect?

The link, conference ID and conference PIN provided in your confirmation email will only work for the date and time listed. If your hearing is continued or has another hearing set, you will need to reschedule another remote appearance for the new hearing date.

I’m having issues and this FAQ page isn’t answering my question. Now what?

If you’re having VCourt related issues and cannot find the answer on this FAQ sheet, please call (916) 408-6405

I see a list of options towards the top or middle of my screen when I join the conference. What do these buttons do?

Each meeting will have the same controls at the top or middle the screen, depending on if you join from the app or from your browser:

Teams Controls