What is an online hearing?
If your hearing is held online, you attend court through a device (laptop, tablet or smart phone) from your home, office or other location.
Only a few matters are held online. Most people are expected to be in court for their hearing.
If you do not have a lawyer, you must appear in person for your first hearing. The exceptions to this rule is if the court has directed you to be online OR if you contact the court at least 3 days before your hearing and the court grants you an adjournment.
What you will need
You will need:
- A device - a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Laptops and tablets have bigger screens so you can see other participants easily.
- WiFi access or 4G.
You don't need headphones, but if you have any it's worth using them to cut out background noises.
If you don't have a device and/or WiFi or 4G call the NJC and we'll help.
We use video conferencing technology called WebEx. We'll set you up with this.
What do to first
As soon as you know you have a hearing:
- Check the date and check to see if it is online or in person. You can find your court date here online (External link).
- Find a lawyer (External link) if you don't have one.
We can help you to confirm your court date and connect you to a lawyer: Call us on 9948 8600.
You should also tell us if you also need:
- Disability support
- Interpreter support
- Safety supprt. If you have safety concerns tell us and we'll put safety measures in place.
And remember: if you need help with a device, WiFi/4G we can help.
What do to next
At least 3 days before your hearing contact us. We need to give you access to WebEx.
WebEx is the video conferencing technology that your device needs to connect with court online.
Phone 9948 8600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (External link)
24 hours before your hearing
In the 24 hours before your hearing you'll be able to download WebEx in time for your hearing.
Do this by:
- Checking your email. Registry will email you a link to download WebEx
If you haven't got this email, call Registry on 9948 8600
- Follow the instructions to download WebEx.
- if you can,decide where you will sit on the day. A quiet space with a plain background, like a wall, would be best.
On the day of your hearing
- Make sure you have any documents you need
- Dress neatly - even though you are not in court in person, you are still going to court.
- Find or go to a quiet space. If you can sit with your back to a plain background like a wall.
Join your hearing
To join your hearing:
- Click on the link in the email that registry sent you. Make sure your video and audio settings are on.
If court hasn't started you will be in a 'virtual waiting room' . Someone will let you in. If court has started, you will be in the online court.
You will automatically be on mute. That is, if you speak, no one will hear you. You can turn on your microphone when asked to.
The bench clerk may also send you a message in the Chat function to let you know you have joined.
Please note, the Chat function is not available if you are using a mobile.
If you need to step away for a moment, let the bench clerk know by sending them a message on the Chat function.
Listen for your name
- When your matter is ready, the bench clerk will announce your name.
Your lawyer will either be online or in court in person.
Signing and receiving documents
You may have documents to sign. The court will tell how to sign any documents.
If your case is postponed
If your case is adjourned (put off for another day) the court will send you a Hearing Notice by post.
Contact the NJC on 9087 5739
Get a lawyer
We highly recommend you get a lawyer. The law is complicated, and there's is a lot of paperwork involved. It's best you have legal representation.
You can find a lawyer here (External link), phone us, or drop in to the NJC in person for more information.
Get other support services
You'll find a wide range of support services (External link)at the NJC.
Services are free and you can see as many as needed. Again, visit us or phone 9948 8777 to set up a time to meet a friendly support worker.
Keep the day free
On the day of your hearing, you may be waiting a few hours for your hearing. If possible, do not make any appointments for that day.