State’s virtual courtrooms surpass 500,000 hours

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According to the Michigan Supreme Court, there have been more than 500,000 hours of online hearings held since March when Michigan legal proceedings were forced to be conducted on Zoom to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There has been a steady increase in Zoom hearings since April; the first week averaged around 10,000 hours, and the weekly total has climbed to 50,000 hours.

“Other states are copying Michigan’s example of tapping innovation and creativity to keep the doors of our justice system open,” Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack said. “Achieving 500,000 hours of hearings is just the beginning because our response to the pandemic has created the opportunity to take a giant step forward toward our goals of accessible courts that are efficient and engaged with the local community.”

Courts are required to either livestream proceedings to YouTube live or to post a video of those proceedings immediately after the event. As a result, a Virtual Courtroom Directory was created to allow the public to find and view court proceedings statewide using an interactive map that allows users to pick a county or judge and view proceedings.

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