Appearance

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Appearance in California

Court Appearances: CourtCall

Program Overview

Several Courts uses CourtCall to administer all of its telephonic appearances. CourtCall Telephonic Appearance Program provides a procedure for telephone appearances by attorneys and self represented parties as an alternative to personal appearances in appropriate cases and hearings. A CourtCall appearance is completely voluntary and available at a fixed fee. It may be used only in certain civil, unlawful detainer, and probate cases.

Parties may appear by telephone for civil case management conferences, trial setting conferences, law and motion hearings, conferences to review the status of an arbitration or mediation, hearings to review the dismissal of an action, or any other hearing, conference, or proceeding if the Court determines that a telephone appearance is appropriate. However, the Court may require a party to appear in person at any hearing, conference, or case proceeding if it would materially assist in the determination of the proceeding or in the effective management or resolution of the case. Please see below to review the California Rule of Court pertaining to telephonic appearances.

Participation in CourtCall Appearances

CourtCall, established in 1995, is a Remote Appearance Platform that facilitates court and legal appearances for Judges, lawyers and other participants throughout the United States, Canada and worldwide.

Except as otherwise stated below, and subject to the Court’s right to amend this list, parties or counsel shall have the option of appearing by telephone in case management and probate proceedings in several courts:

Where the total time required for hearing of the matter will not exceed 10 minutes;
Where counsel or self represented parties have fully briefed all issues in writing and wish only to be available to respond to questions from the Court or argument of opposing counsel;
Where all documents and exhibits have been filed with the pleadings of the parties and no further documentation will be offered.

The following hearing types are not eligible for telephonic appearances in some county courts:

  • Hearings on motions in limine;
  • Hearings on temporary restraining orders;
  • Judgment debtor examinations;
  • Mandatory settlement conferences;
  • Trial management conferences;
  • Evidentiary hearings.

Ex parte applications are not elegible, except the following:

  • For permission to file a memorandum in excess of applicable page limits;
  • For an extension of time to serve pleadings;
  • To set hearing dates on alternative writs and orders to show cause;
  • By stipulation of the parties;

Other Rules And Procedures

The Courts, in general, reserves the authority, at any time, to reject any CourtCall appearance. When the Court rejects a request for telephonic appearance, it shall order a refund of deposited telephonic appearance fees and notify CourtCall.

The Courts, in general, reserves the authority to halt the telephonic hearing on any matter and order a personal appearance at a later date and time, in which instance no refund of fees is ordered.

If a matter is continued prior to the actual hearing date, the prior filing of a Request for CourtCall Appearance form shall remain valid and in effect for the continued date of the hearing.

Existing rules and procedures regarding the making of the record by a court reporter or electronic device or obtaining a transcript after the hearing shall apply to hearings at which CourtCall appearances are made. No recordings may be made of telephonic appearances except in compliance with California Rules of Court.

Appearance Procedures

Parties electing to make a CourtCall appearance shall serve on all other parties in the case the Request for CourtCall Appearance form, fax a copy of the form to CourtCall, and pay the CourtCall appearance fee in the method prescribed, not less than three court days before the hearing date.

Parties choosing to make a CourtCall appearance shall include the phrase “CourtCall Telephone Appearance” below the title of the moving or opposing papers.

All parties making a CourtCall appearance shall:

  • Call in from a QUIET AREA – eliminate as much background and ambient noise as possible;
    Speak directly into a telephone handset – No speaker phones are permitted as they compromise quality of the call;
  • Avoid using the “hold” button on the telephone.

Parties making CourtCall appearances shall call the designated toll free teleconference line approximately 15 minutes prior to the scheduled hearing time and check-in with CourtCall. Any party calling after the check-in period shall be considered late for the hearing and shall be sanctioned in the same manner as if personally appearing late for the hearing.

Parties appearing telephonically shall state their names for the record each time they speak and shall participate in the appearance with the same degree of courtesy and courtroom decorum as is required for a personal appearance. Disruptive behavior on the CourtCall line will not be tolerated by the Court.

Contact Information for CourtCall

Parties interested in using CourtCall to make telephonic appearances may obtain a copy of the “Request for CourtCall Appearance” form from CourtCall.


Rule 3.670 amended effective January 1, 2008; adopted as rule 298 effective March 1, 1988; previously amended effective January 1, 1989, July 1, 1998, January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, January 1, 2001, July 1, 2002, and January 1, 2003; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007.

2010 California Rules of Court

Rule 3.670. Telephone appearance

(a) Policy favoring telephone appearances

The intent of this rule is to promote uniformity in the practices and procedures relating to telephone appearances in civil cases. To improve access to the courts and reduce litigation costs, courts should permit parties, to the extent feasible, to appear by telephone at appropriate conferences, hearings, and proceedings in civil cases.

(Subd (a) adopted effective January 1, 2008.)

(b) Application

This rule applies to all general civil cases as defined in rule 1.6 and to unlawful detainer and probate proceedings.

(Subd (b) relettered effective January 1, 2008; previously repealed and adopted as subd (a) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, January 1, 2001, January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007.)

(c) General provision authorizing parties to appear by telephone

Except as provided in (e)(2), a party may appear by telephone at the following conferences, hearings, and proceedings:

(1)Case management conferences, provided the party has made a good faith effort to meet and confer and has timely served and filed a case management statement before the conference date;

(2)Trial setting conferences;

(3)Hearings on law and motion, except motions in limine;

(4)Hearings on discovery motions;

(5)Status conferences, including conferences to review the status of an arbitration or a mediation; and

(6)Hearings to review the dismissal of an action.

(Subd (c) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; previously repealed and adopted as subd (b) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective July 1, 1999, and January 1, 2003.)

(d) Required personal appearances

Except as provided in (e)(3), a personal appearance is required for hearings, conferences, and proceedings not listed in (c), including the following:

(1)Trials and hearings at which witnesses are expected to testify;

(2)Hearings on temporary restraining orders;

(3)Settlement conferences;

(4)Trial management conferences;

(5)Hearings on motions in limine; and

(6)Hearings on petitions to confirm the sale of property under the Probate Code.

In addition, except as provided in (e)(3), a personal appearance is required for the following persons:

(7)Applicants seeking an ex parte order, except when the applicant is seeking an order:

(A)For permission to file a memorandum in excess of the applicable page limits;

(B)For an extension of time to serve pleadings;

(C)To set hearing dates on alternative writs and orders to show cause; or

(D)By stipulation of the parties;

(8)Persons ordered to appear to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed for violation of a court order or a rule; or

(9)Persons ordered to appear in an order or citation issued under the Probate Code.

At the proceedings under (7), (8), and (9), parties who are not required to appear in person under this rule may appear by telephone.

(Subd (d) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (c) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective July 1, 2002, and January 1, 2003.)

(e) Court discretion to modify rule

(1)Policy favoring telephone appearances in civil cases

In exercising its discretion under this provision, the court should consider the general policy favoring telephone appearances in civil cases.

(2)Court may require personal appearances

The court may require a party to appear in person at a hearing, conference, or proceeding listed in (c) if the court determines on a hearing-by-hearing basis that a personal appearance would materially assist in the determination of the proceedings or in the effective management or resolution of the particular case.

(3)Court may permit appearances by telephone

The court may permit a party to appear by telephone at a hearing, conference, or proceeding under (d) if the court determines that a telephone appearance is appropriate.

(Subd (e) adopted effective January 1, 2008.)

(f) Need for personal appearance

If, at any time during a hearing, conference, or proceeding conducted by telephone, the court determines that a personal appearance is necessary, the court may continue the matter and require a personal appearance.

(Subd (f) adopted effective January 1, 2008.)

(g) Notice by party

(1)A party choosing to appear by telephone at a hearing, conference, or proceeding under this rule must either:

(A)Place the phrase “Telephone Appearance” below the title of the moving, opposing, or reply papers; or

(B)At least three court days before the appearance, notify the court and all other parties of the party’s intent to appear by telephone. If the notice is oral, it must be given either in person or by telephone. If the notice is in writing, it must be given by filing a “Notice of Intent to Appear by Telephone” with the court at least three court days before the appearance and by serving the notice at the same time on all other parties by personal delivery, fax transmission, express mail, or other means reasonably calculated to ensure delivery to the parties no later than the close of the next business day.

(2)If after receiving notice from another party as provided under (1) a party that has not given notice also decides to appear by telephone, the party may do so by notifying the court and all other parties that have appeared in the action, no later than noon on the court day before the appearance, of its intent to appear by telephone.

(3)If a party that has given notice that it intends to appear by telephone under (1) subsequently chooses to appear in person, the party must so notify the court and all other parties that have appeared in the action, by telephone, at least two court days before the appearance.

(4)The court, on a showing of good cause, may permit a party to appear by telephone at a conference, hearing, or proceeding even if the party has not given the notice required under (1) or (2) and may permit a party to appear in person even if the party has not given the notice required in (3).

(Subd (g) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (d) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, July 1, 1999, January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007.)

(h) Notice by court

After a party has requested a telephone appearance under (g), if the court requires the personal appearance of the party, the court must give reasonable notice to all parties before the hearing and may continue the hearing if necessary to accommodate the personal appearance. The court may direct the court clerk, a court-appointed vendor, a party, or an attorney to provide the notification. In courts using a telephonic tentative ruling system for law and motion matters, court notification that parties must appear in person may be given as part of the court’s tentative ruling on a specific law and motion matter if that notification is given one court day before the hearing.

(Subd (h) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (e) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2003.)

(i) Private vendor; charges for service

A court may provide teleconferencing for court appearances by entering into a contract with a private vendor. The contract may provide that the vendor may charge the party appearing by telephone a reasonable fee, specified in the contract, for its services.

(Subd (i) relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (f) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 2003.)

(j) Audibility and procedure

The court must ensure that the statements of participants are audible to all other participants and the court staff and that the statements made by a participant are identified as being made by that participant.

(Subd (j) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (f); previously relettered as subd (c) effective January 1, 1989, and as subd (g) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007.)

(k) Reporting

All proceedings involving telephone appearances must be reported to the same extent and in the same manner as if the participants had appeared in person.

(Subd (k) relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (h) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 2003.)

(l) Conference call provider

A court, by local rule, may designate a particular conference call provider that must be used for telephone appearances.

(Subd (l) relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (i) effective July 1, 1998; previously amended effective January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2003.)

(m) Information on telephone appearances

The court must publish notice providing parties with the particular information necessary for them to appear by telephone at conferences, hearings, and proceedings in that court under this rule.

(Subd (m) amended and relettered effective January 1, 2008; adopted as subd (j); previously amended effective January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2007.)

California Appearance

This section covers California-specific basic information on appearance and related topics. Many of California's laws on appearance are similar to those of other U.S. states, with some differences (in some cases, minor differences). California appearance laws on appearance are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts. Use the cross-references and topics below to learn more about California statutes and laws on appearance, which is a basic matter in California law.

California Appearance

This section covers California-specific basic information on appearance and related topics. Many of California's laws on appearance are similar to those of other U.S. states, with some differences (in some cases, minor differences). California appearance laws on appearance are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts. Use the cross-references and topics below to learn more about California statutes and laws on appearance, which is a basic matter in California law.

Resources

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Resources

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