WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Preparing for Court

Virtual Hearings

Updated: June 27, 2024

How do I prepare for a remote hearing?

Here are some things you can do to prepare for your hearing:

  • Think about any documents or evidence you might want the judge to see. Your evidence can include anything that helps tell your story, such as medical records, photographs, text messages, phone records, etc. The judge will decide what evidence s/he is allowed to consider under your state’s rules of evidence. You may need to turn in (submit) all evidence and documents to the court before the hearing by scanning the documents or taking photos of them. The court should explain how and when you should submit documents. Find out the procedure as soon as you can. You don’t want to wait until the last minute in case there are problems.
  • Have copies of the documents with you so you can refer to them easily during the hearing.
  • If possible, set up for your hearing in a location where you will not be disturbed. Make sure that the audio and video equipment you are using is working properly.
  • Make sure you know how you will receive the video conferencing link:
    • Will it be posted online? If so, do you know where to find it? Do you need a password to access it? When will the link be posted?
    • Will the link be sent to you directly? If so, when will you receive it? Does the court have the correct email address for you?

If you do not have the link by the date you expected to receive it, let the court know.

  • Plan for your safety with a domestic violence advocate before the hearing. If the abuser does not know where you are, will s/he be able to figure it out from your video? For example, think about what the abuser will be able to see and hear in your video. Will there be familiar voices in the background or noises from outside that might give clues to your location? These are all things to consider when making a plan to stay safe.