Remote Telephonic Hearings
About Remote 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.
Hearings for Which You May Not 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.
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 10.815, the fee to appear by telephone is equivalent to the cost for the court to provide the service. For each appearance the fee is $28. 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 $28 appearance fee. To avoid being charged additional appearance fees, please only select one of the listed hearings, during VCourt registration. The pin number provided to you will only work for one person at a time. If you would like to have multiple people call in to the conference, then you will need to register multiple attendees individually.
A case with multiple hearings scheduled at different times on the same day requires the $28 appearance fee for each scheduled hearing time.
Payment may be made by Visa, Mastercard credit and debit cards or American Express only. Payment may not be made with cash, paper checks or e-checks.
There is a non-refundable $2.35 credit card processing fee for each transaction.
An additional late request fee of $10 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:
- When an opposing party has provided timely notice of telephonic appearance on an ex parte application or other similar hearing, conference or proceeding;
- When the Court itself sets a hearing, conference or proceeding on less than two (2) days’ notice;
- When there is a tentative ruling posted within the two (2) day period prior to the hearing; and
- 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.
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. The pin may only be used by one person at a time.
If you do not receive confirmation within two hours, contact email@example.com 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 must be done via this link or by using the “Cancel Appearance” button below. In order to be eligible for a refund, the cancellation must occur prior to 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the day before the scheduled hearing. Refunds will not be issued if the hearing was not cancelled via the website.
A $5 fee may be charged if a party cancels a telephonic appearance and no telephonic appearance is made.
Failure to cancel a telephonic appearance prior to 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the day before the scheduled hearing will result in forfeiture of the 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 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 cancelled 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.
Only telephonic appearances cancelled pursuant to the instructions above are eligible for refund. The issuance of refunds is automatic upon proper cancellation. Due to system limitations, refunds will not be processed until after five days from hearing date. Once processed, it can take 7-10 business days to post with the bank. If more than one hearing is scheduled per transaction, any refund due will not be processed until after five days from last hearing date pertaining to transaction. For example, if three hearings are scheduled in one transaction for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and the Monday hearing is cancelled and refundable, the refund will not be processed until five days after Wednesday’s hearing. Provided the appearance was cancelled pursuant to the instructions above, the credit card used for the transaction will be credited by the applicable refund amount.
Schedule or Cancel Appearance
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.