Virtual Court Process
The Virtual Courtroom Experience
- Proper courtroom etiquette and proper courtroom attire are required.
- The virtual court hearings are streamed live to YouTube to comply with the State of Texas "Open Court" requirements.
- Audio and video are necessary for the virtual courtroom hearing. When joining the hearing, one must select "Join with Audio and Video." If your audio is not working when you are called for the check-in process, you will be returned to the waiting room.
- When you enter the virtual courtroom, your profile will be renamed. This is part of the court check-in process. The new identification is used to maintain your place in line.
Joining Sugar Land's Virtual Courtroom
- Muting and unmuting your audio functions: Although, you have control to mute and unmute, PLEASE let the docket coordinator control this function when the Judge is ready to speak with you. As you enter the hearing, your profile is muted and should remain muted until you speak with the Judge or the Prosecutor.
- The chat option: You will receive directions and updates through this chat option.
- If you are going to speak with the Prosecutor you will be moved to a Breakout Room where your conversations are private.
- The Prosecutor will instruct you when it is time to leave the Breakout room and return to the hearings.
- The Judge will call your name when he is ready to accept your plea and render his order(s).
- Some are not speaking to the Prosecutor, but have been summoned for a Show Cause hearing. You will be speaking only to the Judge. You will not go to a Breakout Room to speak with the Judge. The Judge will address you in the main hearing.
- If you do not answer when your name is called, the next person will be called.
- After speaking with the Judge, you will be moved into an exit Breakout room where you will speak with a docket coordinator, who will explain the Judge’s orders and answer any questions you may have before leaving the virtual courtroom.
Recording Court Proceedings
No person, other than the court reporter, may record a court proceeding without the court’s permission. This prohibition applies to all persons, including members of the public viewing court proceedings on any court’s live stream and to persons with the ability to record any virtual court proceeding. Any person found to be in violation of this order faces contempt proceedings, including a fine of up to $100 and a sentence of confinement for up to three (3) days in jail for each act of contempt of court.
Note: The remote appearance is not optional and neglecting to appear will have the same consequences as not appearing at an in-person proceeding. Alternatively, options for handling a citation prior to a court date, can be found here, on the court’s website. (See FAQ, Dismissals, Payment Information on the main page of this website.)
Please call the court at (281) 275-2560, for more information on video conferencing court appearances or read about appearing remotely on the "Your Rights" page of this website.