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Phone / Video Hearings

Important: All Hearings, including those by teleconference or videoconference, may not be unofficially recorded, photographed, broadcast, or transmitted. This prohibition applies in all cases in this District.

Participating Telephonic Hearings

Attorneys and parties-in-interest wishing to participate either video or telephonic hearings must dial-in using the following dial-in numbers and conference codes:

Judge Grabill, Section A:
Dial-in Number: 888-684-8852
Access Code: 9318283

Once connected to the teleconference, please observe the following:

  • When you dial into a hearing, you are participating in a court proceeding and are bound by the normal rules of courtesy and attention.
  • Mute you phone unless it is your turn to speak.  (If you do not have a mute button, press *6 to mute or unmute your line (toggle)).
  • Restate your name for the record each time that you speak.
  • Find a quiet place to participate with minimal background noise.
  • If using a mobile device, situate yourself in a location with a strong signal.
  • A headset-microphone often provides better sound quality for listening and speaking.
  • Do not place your phone on 'hold', as this may subject the court to hold music.

 

Preparing to Participate in a Zoom Video Hearing

If you will be a participant in a Zoom video conference with the court (i.e., an attorney, witness, case party, etc.), please follow the guidance below, as adequate preparation and testing of the system will help ensure a good experience for everyone involved.  Case participants will receive login information directly from the court.  Login information is not public and must not be shared with anyone other than the appearing attorneys and other direct participants in the court proceeding.

For security, the court may disable some Zoom features (such as chat, screen share, whiteboard, Q&A, raise hand, react, etc.).

Zoom Account and Software

  1. If you do not already have a Zoom account, set one up at https://www.zoomgov.com/. A paid Zoom account is not necessary for any interaction with the court. Attendees do not need a Zoom account, but it does make using the system easier. 
  2. Install the latest Zoom Client for Meetings at https://www.zoomgov.com/download. Although Zoom can be used in a browser only, it is very limited. The full Zoom client is required for best functionality and best experience with the system.
  3. Always keep your software up to date! The Zoom Client automatically update itself upon launching the software, but you can also update it manually.

Settings

Below are a few settings recommended by the court to improve your video conference.

  • General: Ask me to confirm when I leave a meeting: ON (Helps prevent unintended departures)
  • Video: Enable HD: OFF (Helps prevent poor video performance, and usually looks just as good as HD)
  • Video: Always display participant names on their video: ON
  • Video: Always show video preview dialog when joining a video meeting: ON (Final check before your video displays to others)

    Learning

    The court will use only the video functionality of Zoom. Other functions such as text chat, screen sharing, etc., will be disabled for your session, and you need only learn the basics of observing or participating in a Zoom Webinar. Consult the following sources to learn how to select the correct video source, and and how to Start/Stop your video:

    1. How to Join a Zoom Meeting/Hearing: https://youtu.be/hIkCmbvAHQQ
    2. Zoom tutorials (videos): https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-video-tutorials
    3. Zoom Video Frequesntly asked Questions: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200521865-Video

    Recommendations

    1. Mute your phone, and mute all sounds from all other applications (email notifications, chat messaging, etc.).
    2. Avoid using a mobile device if possible. Although tablets (iPads) and smartphones can be used, they are very limited, and the performance is inferior.
    3. Avoid using battery power only (laptops, etc.). Plug into a good power source while in a Zoom meeting.
    4. Unless you’ve confirmed the quality is sufficient, avoid using an open microphone and speakers, such as those that are built-into laptops or a webcams. Using a good quality headset (headphones with mic) will often help ensure you can be heard, and can hear others with maximum quality.
    5. Avoid noisy and echoey locations. Use of a headset will improve audio quality when this is unavoidable.
    6. Avoid distracting real or virtual backgrounds. Suitable example: ZoomGrey.jpg
    7. Avoid poor camera positioning. Try to frame yourself so you take up most the screen, at eye level.
    8. Avoid using WiFi if possible. Connection via a hard-wire Ethernet cable will always be faster and more reliable than WiFi. If you must use WiFi, make sure you’re in close range.
    9. Avoid running any unnecessary applications besides Zoom, to conserve your computer’s processing power and networking.
    10. For home networks, if possible, avoid sharing your internet service with others during the session.

    Before Every Court Session using Zoom

    1. Connect your device to power.
    2. Make sure your internet connection is good:
      https://www.pcworld.com/article/2048594/how-to-test-your-home-internet-speed.html
    3. Test your video.
    4. Turn off all audio disruptions (phones, messaging alerts, email alerts, etc.)
    5. Run a quick test to connect with another Zoom user, or use the Zoom test:
      https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115002262083-Joining-a-test-meeting