How can I start my case?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many state courts will allow you to start your case electronically - either through email or the court’s specific electronic filing system. Many states also still have in-person filing hours or drop-off services that allow for contactless in-person delivery of court filings. Additionally, you may be able to mail in your paperwork. However, the postal service is experiencing COVID-related delays. The in-person and electronic filing may be faster and more reliable than the option to send filings through the mail.
What type of hearing will I have?
In many states, you will have a virtual hearing. Some states are having in-person hearings even if you are able to file your paperwork electronically, so always follow the instructions provided to you by the court.
What is a virtual hearing?
Virtual hearings are court hearings that take place through phone or video conferences, instead of in-person hearings in the courthouse. COVID-19 has made in-person hearings unsafe or challenging in some states, so courts are moving hearings online to continue to process cases. You can participate through video conferencing software (like Zoom) or connect by phone (if allowed by your court).
How do I know if I have a virtual hearing?
The most important thing to keep in mind is to be in contact with the court. Regardless of how you file your case or documents, someone from the court should follow up with you as to how your case will proceed. This may be through mail or phone, so be sure to give the court a current phone number and mailing address.