September 27, 2020

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Remote Telephonic Hearings

The Stanislaus County Superior Court has instituted a court-run telephonic appearance system called VCourt.  All telephonic appearances must be scheduled via the Court’s website by clicking the “Schedule Now” button at the bottom of this page.  You cannot schedule a telephonic appearance over the phone.

If you need Telephonic Appearance Support please contact: court.helpdesk@stanct.org

Hearings for Which You May Appear Telephonically:

Telephonic appearances are generally authorized pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.670.  As set forth in Rule 3.670(e) telephonic appearances are usually not allowed for the following matters:

  • Trials, hearings, and proceedings at which witnesses are expected to testify (including small claims and unlawful detainer hearings);
  • Hearings on temporary restraining orders;
  • Mandatory settlement conferences;
  • Trial management and trial issue conferences;
  • Hearings on motions in limine;
  • Hearing on petitions to confirm the sale of property under the Probate Code;
  • Persons ordered to appear to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed for a violation of a court order or rule; and 
  • Persons ordered to appear in an order or citation issued under the Probate Code.

However, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Court is currently encouraging remote appearances – including telephonic appearances – pursuant to Emergency Rule of Court, Rule 3. Click here to access the Emergency Rules of Court. In certain instances, you may be able to appear telephonically at one of these hearing types without prior authorization.  

If you would like to appear at your hearing telephonically, but are not sure whether you may do so, please contact the correct division corresponding to your case type for assistance.

Notice of Telephonic Appearance:

If you are authorized and plan to appear telephonically for your hearing, in most cases, you must notify the Court and other parties that you intend to do so.  Generally, such notification should be made no later than two (2) days prior to your scheduled hearing.

Notice can be provided orally or in writing. See California Rules of Court, rule 3.670(h)(1).  Under certain circumstances less than two days’ notice of your intent to appear telephonically is sufficient.  Rule 3.670(h)(2)-(6).

Telephonic Appearance Fee/Payment:

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.670(k)(1), the fee to appear by telephone is $94 for each appearance.  If a party has a fee waiver on file for the case in which the hearing is scheduled, the telephonic appearance fee is waived. (Please note it is not enough to have applied for a fee waiver – the fee waiver must have been granted in order for the telephonic appearance fee to be waived.) 

A case with multiple hearings scheduled at the same time, on the same day, in the same department requires a single $94 appearance fee. 

A case with multiple hearings scheduled at different times on the same day requires the $94 appearance fee for each scheduled hearing time. 

Payment may be made by Visa or Mastercard credit and debit cards only.  Payment may not be made with cash, paper checks or e-checks. 

Late Payment: 

Pursuant to California Rules of Court rule 3,670(k)(2) an additional late request fee of $30 is to be charged for a telephonic appearance if the request to appear telephonically is not made at least two (2) days before the scheduled appearance, except:

  1. When an opposing party has provided timely notice of telephonic appearance under Rule 3.670(h)(4) on an ex parte application or other similar hearing, conference or proceeding;
  2. When the Court itself sets a hearing, conference or proceeding on less than two (2) days’ notice;
  3. When there is a tentative ruling posted within the two (2) day period prior to the hearing; and
  4. When the party making the request to appear telephonically received notice of another party’s intent to do so and makes a responsive request to appear telephonically by no later than noon on the court day prior to the hearing, conference or proceeding.

Confirmation: 

Following receipt of payment you will receive an email confirming the details of your telephonic appearance.  The confirmation will contain the toll-free dial-in number for the telephonic appearance, a conference ID and a PIN unique to you.

If you do not receive confirmation within two hours, contact court.helpdesk@stanct.org for assistance.

You will also receive an email reminder the day prior to your hearing.  

Day of Appearance: 

On the day your hearing is scheduled, please call the number stated in your email confirmation at least five (5) minutes before your hearing is set to begin.  When prompted by the system, enter the conference ID and PIN stated on your confirmation.  The court clerk will check you in, and you will then wait until your case is called.

If you join the call while court is already in session, the court clerk will be aware that you have joined due to your unique PIN.  Please do not interrupt the ongoing proceedings.

Cancellations and Refunds: 

Pursuant to California Rules of Court (Rule 3.670(k)(3)), a $5 fee may be charged if a party cancels a telephonic appearance request/no telephonic appearance is made.

Additionally, failure to timely cancel a telephonic appearance request and notify the Court of the cancellation may result in forfeiture of your entire telephonic appearance fee.

For hearings that are continued or cancelled by the Court:

If your hearing is continued or cancelled by the Court, including pursuant to a tentative ruling, there will be no charge for your telephonic appearance, provided you cancel your appearance and request your refund online by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the day before the hearing.

If the Court continues your hearing date, you must cancel the original telephonic appearance and reschedule/complete a new transaction for the continued date.  Payments do not transfer to another date or appearance, nor will your telephonic appearance be rescheduled automatically. 

Full refunds (including the $5 fee) will only be issued for hearings that were cancelled or continued by the Court without being heard (not for cases where a hearing occurred which resulted in a continuance).

For hearings canceled or continued by a party, where the Court does not hold a hearing:

You must cancel your telephonic appearance date in order to receive a refund.  All cancellations must be completed online by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the day before the scheduled hearing to receive a refund. 

If you are continuing a hearing, you must cancel the original telephonic appearance date to obtain a refund.  If you plan to appear telephonically at the continued hearing, you must complete a new transaction for the continued date.  Payments do not transfer to another date or appearance, nor will your telephonic appearance be rescheduled automatically.

For hearings where you appear telephonically on your scheduled date and your hearing is continued to another date or dropped:

You are not eligible for a refund if you appear telephonically at your hearing and your matter is either continued or dropped. 

If your hearing results in a continuance (you appear by telephone and get a new date), you must complete a new transaction if you wish to appear telephonically on the new (continued) date.

Refunds:

Provided you have cancelled your appearance by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the day before your scheduled hearing, a refund of $89 will be credited back to your account.  If you feel you are also entitled to receive a refund of the $5 fee or a refund of any other fees, you must submit a request cancel your scheduled remote appearance online at https://stanct.portalscloud.com/VCourt

CONTINUE TO SCHEDULE OR CANCEL APPEARANCE:

If you agree to the terms and conditions set forth above and wish to schedule or cancel a telephonic appearance, use the button below. Please note that you may only schedule for hearings on or after October 1st 2020.

Last updated: September 23, 2020 3:56 PM