Michigan Courts log more than 3 million hours of Zoom hearings

The Michigan Supreme Court announced last Friday that courts across the state have logged more than 3,000,000 hours of Zoom hearings since proceedings moved online more than a year ago. In other technology, the MSC’s online Virtual Courtroom Directory—a tool that enables the public to search and access live-streamed or recorded court proceedings—has been used nearly 260,000 times since it was launched last year. Also, YouTube videos from Michigan courts have been viewed nearly 38 million times and trial court YouTube channels now have more than 110,000 subscribers.

“I am proud of how nimble, creative, and dedicated Michigan judges and court staff have been in both protecting public health and keeping the doors of justice open for our entire state,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “Working remotely has helped us transform our judiciary into a more accessible, engaged, transparent, efficient, and customer-friendly branch of government that people can trust.”

The court gained recognition as a national leader at the beginning of the pandemic when it quickly pivoted to authorizing additional use of remote proceedings, provided training for judges and court staff, and implemented new technology to enhance both security and access. Statewide, nearly 1,000 judges and other
courts officers are using Zoom licenses provided by the State Court Administrative Office.

Other ways the Michigan Supreme Court is ensuring access:

• Offering the nation’s first statewide online dispute resolution tool (MI-Resolve).

• Developing a new application that enables courts to text parties regarding hearing dates and payments owed.

• Protecting secure access to data for courts by partnering with industry to build a virtual desktop environment that allows judges and court staff to securely access case files.

• Providing guidance to courts on every aspect of holding jury trials that protect public health and the rights of parties—from voir dire to verdict.

• Improving access for self-represented litigants through Michigan Legal Help on issues ranging from evictions to unemployment insurance.

For additional information about the judicial branch’s response to COVID-19, visit www.courts.mi.gov/COVID19.


Subscribe to the Legal News!


Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more

Day Pass Only $4.95!

One-County $80/year

Three-County & Full Pass also available