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Conducting Remote Proceedings

Posted in COVID19-Category.

Administrative Order No. 2020-6 requires all Michigan judges to make a good faith effort to conduct proceedings remotely whenever possible and authorizes judicial officers to conduct remote proceedings (whether physically present in the courtroom or elsewhere) using two-way interactive videoconferencing technology or other remote participation tools under the following conditions: 

  • any such procedures must be consistent with a party’s Constitutional rights;
  • the procedure must enable confidential communication between a party and the party’s counsel;
  • access to the proceeding must be provided to the public either during the proceeding or immediately after via access to a video recording of the proceeding, unless the proceeding is closed or access would otherwise be limited by statute or rule; and
  • the procedure must enable the person conducting or administering the procedure to create a recording sufficient to enable a transcript to be produced subsequent to the activity.

Courts must continue to expand the use of remote proceedings (either by video or telephone) as much as possible to reduce any backlog and dispose of new cases efficiently and safely. Administrative Order No. 2020-19(2). However, as the use of remote proceedings are expanded, courts must continue to verify that participants are able to proceed remotely, and should permit some participants to appear remotely even if all participants are not able to do so. Id. The limitations in Administrative Order No. 2012-7 placed on a judge with respect to presiding over remote proceedings are "suspended until further order of the Court." AO 2020-19(2). 

See also MC 506, Notice of Hearing With Remote Participation, and SCAO's Guidance for Completing Form 506.

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