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Remote Hearing Information

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is conducting some court hearings remotely using Zoom, WebEx, and/or VMR. This site includes information for attorneys, parties, and others who are required to appear at remote hearings as well as access for the public.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch uses strict security controls for all remote technology when conducting remote hearings.


Case participants (i.e., parties, attorneys, witnesses) will receive information about how to join the hearing directly from the court. If you haven't received this information, please contact the local court. Participant login information should not be shared with anyone other than the participants appearing in the court hearing, unless the court approves otherwise.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is using four different methods to conduct remote court hearings; telephone conference calls, WebEx Meetings (WebEx), Virtual Meeting Rooms (VMR), and Zoom. For security and enforcement of court standards, the court may disable some features, such as chat, screen share, and reaction emoticons.
 
If your hearing is being held by WebEx, VMR, or Zoom, see the additional information below about how to prepare to use the specific tool.
 

Join a Court Hearing Using VMR

If possible, it is recommended that you join a court hearing using VMR through the Cisco Meeting App. This will provide the most reliable experience for you and the court.
 

To join using the Cisco Meeting App:

  • Install the Cisco Meeting app (not the Cisco WebEx Meeting app) from your device's app storeMake sure you keep the app up to date.
  • Open the app and paste the hearing link you receive from the court into the meeting link field and click Join Meeting.
  • Enter your first and last name, and if applicable your role, such as attorney for petitioner, and click Join Meeting.
  • Choose a camera, microphone, and speakers, and then click Join Meeting.

To join using an internet browser:

  • Make sure you have a compatible web browser installed on the device you will use to join the remote hearing. Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge all work well with VMR. If you do not have a compatible browser, download one from your device’s app store.
    • Please do not join through Internet Explorer, as this will cause audio and video problems for you and the court.
  • Click on the link in the hearing information you received from the court, or open the selected internet browser and paste the hearing link into the address bar.
  • Enter your first and last name, and if applicable your role, such as attorney for petitioner, and click Join Meeting.
  • Choose a camera, microphone, and speakers, and then click Join Meeting.

Join a Court Hearing Using WebEx

You may join a court hearing held using Webex Meetings from either the Webex Mobile App or an internet browser.

To join using the WebEx Meeting Mobile App:     

  • Install the Cisco WebEx Meeting app (not the Cisco Meeting App for VMR) from your device’s app store. You can set up an account if you wish but this is not required to appear at the court hearing. Make sure to keep the app up to date.
  • Open the app and click Join Meeting.
  • Enter the meeting number or copy and paste the hearing link you received from the court into the correct field.
  • Enter your first and last name and email address, and tap Join. If you are asked for a meeting password, enter the meeting password you received from the court.

To join using an internet browser:

  • Click on the meeting link in the hearing notice you received from the court.
  • Click Join Meeting and enter the Meeting Number.
  • Enter your name and email address, and click Next. If you are asked for a meeting password, enter the meeting password that you received from the court.
  • Click Join Meeting.
  • You have the option of joining audio through your computer or you can call one of the phone numbers to join audio by phone. If you join audio by phone, you can still see the meeting on your computer screen. Click Audio and Video.
WebEx has resources that may also be helpful as you prepare. To prepare to join a court hearing, you may want to watch this video:

Join a Court Hearing Using Zoom

You may join a court hearing held using Zoom from either the Zoom Mobile App or an internet browser. The hearing link is encrypted, so it is recommended that you join the hearing by clicking the link rather than copying and pasting the link into the app or the browser’s address bar.
 

To join using the Zoom App:

  • Install the Zoom app from your device’s app store. If you have a Zoom account, you can use it to join the remote hearing. Having an account is not required to appear at the court hearing. Make sure you keep the app up to date.
  • Open the app and click the link in the hearing information provided by the court. If that doesn’t work, click Join a Meeting.
  • Then enter the Meeting ID provided by the court.
  • Enter your first and last name, and click Join. The hearing will launch.
  • If prompted, enter the Meeting Password, which is available in the hearing information from the court.
  • Click Join Meeting and your hearing will begin.

To join using an internet browser:

  • Click the hearing link provided by the court and Zoom will launch automatically.
  • If you received a paper notice, go to https://zoom.us/join and enter the Meeting ID you received from the court. Enter the Meeting Password if prompted.
  • Once in the hearing, you can update your name by clicking the Participants icon on the bottom of your screen. On the right panel, hover over your name, click More and then select Rename to update your name. If you are representing a party, add your role to your name. For example, “Joan Smith, Attorney for Defendant.”
  • Click the Join Audio icon in the lower left-hand corner of your screen.
  • Click the Share Video icon.
Zoom has resources that may also be helpful as you prepare. To prepare to join a court hearing, you may want to watch these two videos:

Public Access to Remote Hearings

Members of the public who wish to view or listen to remote district court proceedings should contact the court to request to attend the scheduled public hearing or proceeding.
 
Decisions about access to court proceedings will be made by the presiding judge on a case by case basis, and as technology allows.
 
For high-interest in-person proceedings, courts may provide video and/or audio access to the proceeding in a specific location for court observers that would allow for appropriate social distancing measures to be taken, and ensuring compliance with existing orders concerning public gatherings.
 

Media Access to Remote Hearings

Media who wish to cover a hearing must work with the State Court Information Office or the Hennepin County District Court Communications Specialist. Media must provide 24-hours advance notice of a request to attend a hearing, and will be required to follow all social distancing protocols enforced by court administration and judicial officers. Where multiple requests exist, media may be required to coordinate a pool.

Follow these best practices to ensure a smooth experience for everyone.

 
  • Find a quiet, well-lit place for clear and distraction-free audio and video. Turn off TVs, radios, and phone notifications. If there are others around you, try moving to a room with a door you can close.
  • If joining by video, find your device’s video camera and make sure it is uncovered. Position the camera at eye level so others can see you clearly.
  • If possible, make sure your device is plugged into a power source and not running only off battery power.
  • Dress in solid colors, and be mindful of what is behind you.
  • Use headphones, if possible, for the best sound quality and the fewest background noises.
  • Mute yourself when not speaking.
  • Speak one at a time and pause before speaking in case there is audio or video lag.
  • Enter your first and last name when you join. If you are an attorney, identify which party you represent. For example, Joan Lawyer, Attorney for the Petitioner.
Select a County:

For time sensitive inquiries call Aitkin County District Court at (218) 927-7350. If you can wait up to 3 business days for a response, you may send an email.

Learn about other COVID-19 actions being taken by the Aitkin County District Court.