Tezas Courts and COVID-19
A couple of weeks ago, the Texas Judicial Branch Office of Court Administration recommended that courts continue to delay in-person proceedings of any size until at least May 1st. They also made a recommendation that both essential and non-essential proceedings can be held remotely using Zoom conferencing technology. OCA has partnered with Zoom for special licensing to use the product for Texas court rooms. Visit their Zoom Information and YouTube Support page here.

Create a YouTube Channel – this will allow you to Livestream the courtroom proceedings. You may also delete any recorded proceedings immediately after the broadcast (use your existing G-Mail account or create a new one)

Create a Zoom Account with the OCA link – OCA has signed up for special enterprise licensing that will allow the Zoom meetings to have unlimited meeting time instead of the basic 40 minute limit; the Zoom meeting allows you to have:

• A waiting room for attorneys and defendants that are attending the meeting
• Courtroom proceedings with a co-host as needed (court clerk, court staff, etc.)
• Break-out rooms for attorneys to speak with their clients (created by meeting host)
• A court backdrop for the judge with flags (image file available on OCA website)

Create a DropBox account to gather documents prior to the court hearing - https://www.dropbox.com/basic

Scheduling Court Dates & Times - You’ll want to notify parties (attorneys, self-represented litigants) of a pending Zoom meeting using their e-mail address.

Important Documents for the Court Hearing - In the e-mailed Zoom Meeting invitation, you’ll want to add a DropBox link to a folder created for the hearing date to gather documentation from all parties. Use a file structure to organize documents by court date.

Avoid “Zoom Bombing” – which is having uninvited public attendees to a court meeting - limit the Zoom Meeting itself to attorneys, their specific clients, witnesses, court reporter, etc. Once you’ve started the Zoom Meeting, you can broadcast it Live on YouTube for public viewing without inviting the public to participate in the proceedings.

Public Notification – share the YouTube Channel URL to the city website, Facebook page, signage or other public forum or newsletter, with the dates and times of scheduled hearings as needed.

If you need assistance setting up your city's court technology to be in compliance with COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing recommendations, give us a call at
(806) 794-3278. You can also ask for a setup quote by emailing contact@fastsw.com

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