August 8, 2020
Public Access Requests - Remote Hearings

Public Access Policy

San Mateo County Superior Court is committed to continuing public access to court proceedings during and after the pandemic emergency. Due to COVID-19 and public health concerns, the Court is forced to convene court proceedings remotely in order to eliminate the need for individuals to attend hearings in person. This is to reduce the number of visits by the public to the courthouses, thereby minimizing potential infection of the public and staff. Presently, the Court conducts the majority of our essential court calendars remotely by video and phone conferencing, using Zoom and CourtCall.

In order to remotely access court proceedings, any member of the public may submit an online request to receive instructions as to how they may listen-in only on a specific court calendar session. The request to listen-in can be made at any time. We ask that if possible, you please submit your request with 24-hours' notice. Once your request is received and processed, you will be sent an email with the remote access instructions.

You may also make a request to attend a court proceeding in person. Please be advised that these requests must be authorized by a judicial officer in order to be approved. The Court is committed to maintaining a safe workplace for our staff and the public. Therefore, if a courtroom cannot accommodate additional individuals due to social distancing requirements, your request will be denied, and you will instead be provided the listen-in only remote access instructions.

Persons granted remote access to listen-in only on court proceedings are reminded of the general prohibition against the photographing, recording, and rebroadcasting of court proceedings (including those held by telephone or videoconference). See Court Standing Order 2010-108 and California Rule of Court 1.150. Any recording of a court proceeding is absolutely prohibited. Violation of this order of the Court is punishable as contempt pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1209.

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