Asking to appear remotely
Usually, a person participating in a court proceeding must be in the courtroom. Sometimes a judge will let a person appear remotely.
"Appearing remotely" means that the person would participate by phone, video, or some other means instead of physically coming to the courthouse.
- Participants could include the parties, their attorneys, and witnesses.
- Types of court proceedings could include a scheduling conference, a hearing, an evidentiary hearing, a pre-trial conference, or trial.
Utah Rule of Juvenile Procedure 29B.
A judge must make the following findings before they can let a person appear remotely. During the court proceedings:
- a person and their attorney (if the person has an attorney) must be able to communicate confidentially;
- documents, photos, and other items presented in the courtroom can be delivered to the remote participants before or during the proceedings;
- interpretation has been arranged for a person who has a limited English proficiency or is deaf or hard of hearing; and
- the remote appearance does not interfere with creating a verbatim record of the hearing.
If all these requirements are met the judge may allow a person to appear remotely. However, the judge is not required to allow a person to appear remotely, even if all the requirements are met.
To ask that a person be allowed to appear remotely, a party can file a Motion to Appear Remotely with the court.
The way the motion is handled differs by judicial district and by judge or commissioner. Contact the court handling the case and ask:
- how the judge or commissioner handles requests to appear remotely,
- whether the court can accommodate the proposed method of remote appearance (such as phone or video conferencing),
- if a written Motion to Appear Remotely must be filed, and what other forms must be filed with it (such as a Request to Submit for Decision), and
- if an interpreter is needed, how to make arrangements for an interpreter.
In Judicial Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, commissioners are assigned to hear motions in divorce cases and several other types of family law cases. Motions decided by a judge and motions decided by a commissioner follow different procedures.
If you are not sure whether your case is assigned to a judge or commissioner, find out. Call the court, or look at the caption of the complaint or petition. If a commissioner's name has been listed in the caption, the motion will probably be decided by a commissioner.
Motions decided by a judge are governed by URCP 7. A judge will not rule on a motion until the time for filing an opposition to the motion has passed and a Request to Submit for Decision has been filed.
Motions decided by a commissioner are governed by URCP 101.
See the Motions web page for information about the difference in procedures and timelines depending on who is deciding the motion.
Information about filing documents in existing cases by email
The forms you need depend on your case. What is your case about?