Remote Hearings Rules

The following rules provide that court business and hearings may be conducted remotely by contemporaneous transmission from a different location, as long as certain standards are met.
CJA 03-0302. Clerk of the Court. Amend.
CJA 04-0106. Electronic conferencing. Amend.
CJA 09-0105. Justice Court hours. Amend.
URCP 043. Evidence. Amend.
URCrP 017.5 Hearings with contemporaneous transmission from a different location. New.
URJP 029B. Hearings with contemporaneous transmission from a different location. New.
URJP 037B. Hearings with contemporaneous transmission from a different location. New.

Utah Courts

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3 thoughts on “Remote Hearings Rules
  1. Robert Parrish

    A growing number of criminal defense expert witnesses and parents’ experts in juvenile child welfare cases are pressuring the parties and the Court to allow them to testify by Skype or other method from the comfort of their home or office. Having watched a few trials in juvenile court where the State’s experts all testified in person and the parents’ experts all testified by Skype, it is clear that there is a denial of the due process right to full cross-examination of an expert witness when the expert is not present in court. In those trials, parents’ counsel freely cross-examined the State’s experts with learned treatises, computer graphics and other materials, while the State’s attorney could not engage in the same type of cross-examination because of the limitations of the technology.
    It is anticipated that the same group of regular defense experts will begin to make the same requests in criminal cases involving child abuse allegations, and the inherent unfairness of that process should result in a rule that prohibits experts from testifying from a remote location. Given the fact that a huge cottage industry has been created among experts with questionable qualifications and with little or no scientific basis underlying their opinions, both parties should have an equal ability to fully cross-examine all experts in child abuse trials and preliminary hearings.

  2. Russell Yauney

    Regarding URCP 60(c), it is unclear what date has priority; the date of the entry of the written order or the date of the proceeding. Previously we could rely on the language as to when the order was entered, but that has been removed. Perhaps stating “not more than 90 days after the entery of the judgment… or if no order is signed the date of the proceeding.

  3. Ryan Stack

    Regarding proposed URCrP 17.5, subsection (a) appears to be aimed at allowing video hearings for in-custody defendants under these circumstances. Please consider amending the “different location” language to read “jail or correctional facility.” This clarification narrows the subsection’s applicability to in-custody defendants. The danger with the broader “different location” language is allowing out-of-custody defendants to be excused from an initial appearance when they should otherwise appear in person (at that point any waiver of future appearances can be addressed once counsel is appointed or retained). Otherwise allowing out-of-custody defendants to appear remotely for an initial appearance confers preferential treatment on those individuals with the financial means to post bail and absent themselves from the judicial process.