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New York’s Civil Courts are now open to the virtual public

December 5, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — When court cases shifted from in-person to virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic one of the biggest things lost was the public trail. That is finally going to change as the Civil Courts announced on Monday that it is launching a way for the press and public to access virtual hearings.

People will now be able to access a web portal to request to view a public trial in any one of New York State’s Civil Courts throughout the 62 counties, the court announced.

The court has found that many in-person appearances are not necessary and can be handled properly over Microsoft Teams instead. While many types of cases have returned in person, it is cheaper and often faster to hold virtual hearings when appropriate. The court’s new web portal will process requests to observe any civil proceedings.

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Requests need to be made a full 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appearance. Once a request has been made and approved, the court will send a link and passcode for the virtual appearance. Unauthorized recording is still prohibited.

The court says it reserves the right to decline requests if a case is not public, is sealed, or in person appearances are required.


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