Friday, June 19, 2020
The Judicial Branch is Expanding its Remote Capabilities(updated 6/17/20)
Civil matters marked “take papers” on civil short calendar 10 (non-arguable calendar) and all Individual Calendaring (IndiCal) calendars are being ruled on remotely by judges on the papers and processed remotely by court staff.
Civil pretrials, status conferences and trial management conferences are being conducted with judges and other parties participating remotely.
Supreme & Appellate Courts
Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate Courts are hearing oral arguments remotely.
Family court will begin hearing matters via remote videoconference that are expected to require no more than one hour of court time, including final agreements and uncontested dissolutions of marriage (divorces).
Parties who have non-adversarial divorces or a temporary agreement may have their family court cases approved and ordered.
Parties in gestational carrier agreements may request approval of their agreements, and the entry of pre-birth orders, without coming to the courthouse for a hearing.
Litigants who have e-filed their dissolution of marriage or legal separation case may remotely request a qualified domestic relations order, which applies to the division of retirement assets.
Family pretrials and status conferences are being conducted remotely via phone by judges and other parties. Family relations counselors are also providing status conferences remotely.
Parties who have a final agreement may have their family court cases resolved without having to come to court.
Criminal courts are using video conferencing to allow for social distancing during arraignments. The participants in the criminal arraignments (the state’s attorneys, the public defenders, and the bail staff) are all able to appear before the court and present information remotely via video conference from within their offices. Those individuals with new criminal charges also appear remotely before the court by video conference, either from the lockup or from a second courtroom with appropriate social distancing guidelines established.
The criminal courts are also proceeding on 54-56d matters (competency to stand trial) by way of video conferencing, which allows for the transition of individuals with mental health issues to be placed back in a community setting with appropriate mental health care set up for them by the forensic evaluation team.
The criminal courts and CSSD are working to finalize pre-sentence investigations for cases that are awaiting disposition after a guilty plea. The courts will then conduct sentencing hearings and are setting up procedures for all parties to participate in person or through remote means.
The criminal courts will also focus on cases in which a person is detained in custody on a pretrial matter. The court will conduct remote meetings with a judge, a prosecutor, and the defense attorney to see if an agreement can be reached in these matters and, if so, have it docketed for plea and disposition.
The Judicial Branch implemented a new procedure for the remote filing of temporary restraining orders.
Clinical Coordinators are working remotely to provide forensic clinical assessments for juveniles in detention and juvenile hearings are being conducted remotely.
Adult Probation & Bail Services
Bail service staff is requesting phone screens at police departments that have defendants held on bond during non-court hours.
Adult probation officers are connecting with clients via telephone contacts. Additionally, some CSSD vendors are providing tele-health services.
Pretrial Alcohol Education and Pretrial Drug Education and Community Service clients may complete their education program requirements via tele-health evaluations and remote group sessions.
CSSD clients may attend Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panels remotely.