May 27, 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. This is based upon limitations of the court's infrastructure, and is subject to change as our infrastructure is updated. The request to listen-in only must be made one court day in advance of the calendar session, by no later than 12:00 PM. If the request is granted, you will receive an email prior to 5:00 PM (on the same day of the request) with the remote access instructions. The court will begin accepting online requests to listen-in only on a specific court calendar session on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

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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