Beginning in early 2021, those involved with traffic cases in Rock Island County will be able to appear in court remotely.
Litigants with hearings in courtrooms 301 and 302 at the Rock Island County Justice Center and have any internet ready smartphone, a laptop or a desktop computer can remotely access either of the two virtual courtrooms via the Zoom video conference platform. The virtual courtrooms can be accessed at this website. Those without internet access can call (309) 558-3538.
The main reason for the use of the remote courtroom is to limit the amount of people in the courthouse during the pandemic, but it is also a benefit for litigants by saving travel time, not needing child care, or limiting missing hours of work.
“Many have found remote appearances are more convenient than coming to court in person,” said Chief Judge Fuhr. “I hope moving to remote access is an improvement that reduces barriers and improves participation the justice system.”
The remote appearances will take place at the scheduled day and time that is on the citation or notice. Those with an upcoming court appearance will receive a note in the mail in the next few weeks about the change to remote appearances. Officers will also start notifying about the remote hearing when citations are issued.
When litigants access the remote courtroom, they will be put in a “waiting room” until the judge opens the remote courtroom. Litigants will then be moved to the “courtroom” where they will see the judge, prosecutor and other participants.
Here are some tips for appearing remotely for court:
- You should take time prior to the call to become familiar with the Zoom program and test your device’s microphone and speaker controls.
- Dress appropriately, as if you were coming in person to the courthouse.
- Make sure you are in a quiet location.
- Make sure your background is court appropriate.