November 28, 2014
Telephonic Appearances / CourtCall

Telephonic Appearances

Photo of a black telephone cord

In certain Court departments, parties may be allowed to appear at their hearing by telephone instead of coming to court in person. Each department that allows telephonic appearances has specific guidelines parties must follow. All telephonic appearances are arranged by an independent vendor, CourtCall, and involve a fee for each appearance.

The following Court departments allow telephonic appearances:

CourtCall

What is CourtCall?

CourtCall is a way of using the telephone to "go" to a court hearing.


Who can use CourtCall?

Unless the judge says you must come to court in person, anyone can use CourtCall. You do not have to get permission from the other parties.


How do I sign up for CourtCall?
  • Fill out the "Request For CourtCall Telephonic Appearance." Make several copies and keep one for your records.
  • Serve a copy of the CourtCall Request Form on the other parties at least 3 court days before your hearing.*

* For more information please visit CourtCall or call (888) 882-6878.


How much does it Cost?
$86.00
Telephonic appearance fee in civil cases.
$66.00
Telephonic appearance fee in Title IV cases.
$30.00
Additional fee for late requests to appear by telephone.

How to pay the CourtCall fee.

There are 3 ways to pay:

  • Credit Card: CourtCall accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
  • Debit Account: Set up a pre-paid debit account with CourtCall and receive monthly ledgers reflecting the activity on your account.
  • Check: Fax a copy of your check along with your Request Form. Make the check payable to Telephonic Hearing Account, and write your case number on the check. Mail your Form and the original check to CourtCall.

What if I miss the deadline to sign up?

If you miss the deadline to use CourtCall, you must appear in person, or the judge will fine you or impose an alternate sanction.


How do I know if I'm signed up?

CourtCall will fax you a Confirmation (usually within 24 hours). The confirmation will show the date and time of your conference. Look for the Court Call number and an access code on your confirmation.


What if I don't get a faxed confirmation from CourtCall?

If by the day before your hearing, you have not received your confirmation, call CourtCall immediately: (888) 882-6878. You cannot participate in the conference if you don't have your confirmation.


What do I do when it's time to call?

Call the toll-free number on your confirmation 5 minutes before your conference time. Do NOT use a cell phone or pay phone.

  • If CourtCall asks for it, dial your Access Code.**
  • CourtCall will tell you if you are joining the conference call or if you are the first to call. You may be placed on hold until the other parties are on the line. There may be silence or music while you are on hold. Be patient, it may take a few minutes.
  • If the Clerk does not join the call within 15 minutes after your scheduled conference, DO NOT hang up as the Court may join during that time. Contact CourtCall at: (888) 882-6878 for assistance.
  • Do not hang up until you are given further instructions.

** If there is no access code on your Confirmation, your case will be heard privately, not in open court.


Tips for your conference call:
  • Do not interrupt! The judge will tell you when it's your turn to speak. Or, if there is a pause, you can ask to speak.
  • Please use your handset, and not the speaker phone. This will help the judge and the other parties to hear you better.
  • Do not speak until the judge officially calls your case.
  • Say your name each time you speak.
  • Stay calm and be courteous.

What if my hearing is postponed?

If your hearing is continued (postponed), notify CourtCall before the scheduled conference. They will apply your fee to the next conference. If your hearing is continued at the time of your call, you will need to schedule a new CourtCall Appearance and pay a new fee for the next Court date.

© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County