Hearings are held via Google Hangouts and can last around 15-30 minutes. If there are any technical difficulties, we have a backup teleconference line standing by.
If you absolutely cannot manage the Google Hangouts process, please email your number to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours before your Hearing is set to start! *We will be calling from a restricted line, so your phone MUST accept calls from restricted numbers.*
A breakdown of the process:
You're able to join from your iPhone or Android device as well as your computer. We prefer you appear using a camera on your phone or computer so everyone is able to see and hear all parties. Below we will outline the steps you'll need to take prior to your Hearing in order to be able to join.
First, decide if you'll be joining from a computer or a smart-phone!
- If you'll be joining from an iPhone or Android device, you'll need to download the Google Hangouts App. For iPhone click here. For Android click here. To use either of these apps, you'll need to create a Google Account, if you do not already have one, you can create one here.
- If you're using your computer, you may join from the following browsers: Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
You MUST download and make sure all apps are installed and functional prior to your hearing time.
Hearings will begin on time, just as they would in a courtroom, even if all parties are not present.
- Please be sure to test your device and connection prior to your hearing time, you can join 10 minutes early. All parties are responsible for ensuring their devices connect and function properly. Please be sure your device has a working microphone and speakers. We highly recommend using headphones for your Hearing to ensure all parties are able to hear clearly and to reduce background noise.
- Approximately 20 minutes before your Hearing begins you'll receive an email with a link to your Google Hangout. Once you receive the link, please click it. You'll be taken to either the Google Hangouts app (if you're on a phone), or to a browser (if you're on a computer). The easiest browser to use will be Google Chrome.
- Once you click the link you'll be asked to request to join the hangout. Our Hearing Technician will approve this request and you'll enter the hangout. This might take a few moments, so don't worry!
- After you've joined the Hangout via your app or computer, it's important to make sure you're able to be seen and heard. When either the microphone or the camera is highlighted, that means you're muted or cannot be seen as shown by the lines through each icon. When you're trying to speak, please be sure your microphone is not on mute!
When either the microphone or the camera is highlighted, that means you're muted or cannot be seen as shown by the lines through each icon. When you're trying to speak, please be sure your camera is not in mute mode. Here's what those same controls look like on your phone:
Some helpful tips:
- Close browser or app and re-join the hangout via the link
- Check your Internet (wifi) or cellular connection. (Move or reconnect if necessary.)
- Do not join while driving or while over unreliable cellular connections.