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New York StateUnified Court System

Electronic Court Appearances


Overview


Rev. May 2009

Electronic court appearances are authorized by Article 182 of the Criminal Procedure Law and Part 106 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator. An electronic court appearance is one in which the defendant is not physically present in the courtroom (housed at Riker's Island) but where all participants can be seen and heard simultaneously through the use of an independent audio-visual system. These appearances may be used in the courtroom only for incarcerated defendants who waived their right to personally appear.

In the courtroom, cameras are focused on the Judge, Defense Attorney, Assistant District Attorney and Part Clerk. Split-screen monitors and microphones are similarly located. Members of the public view the proceedings from monitors mounted on the walls of the courtroom. A fifth camera is focused on the defendant who sits in a private enclosed soundproof booth at Riker's Island. The defendant is also provided with a split-screen monitor and microphone so that all parties can see and hear each other simultaneously. A full-screen image of any single view can also be displayed when appropriate. A dedicated private audio telephone line linking the defendant and the courtroom permits confidential conversations between the defendant and counsel.

A defendant may participate in an electronic court appearance upon consent, on the record and after consultation with counsel. A defendant has the right to withdraw his/her request to appear electronically and would be produced in Court for the next court appearance.

Prior to the video court appearance, the defense attorney will have an opportunity to speak with his client electronically. This conversation will be held in a separate room, and if possible in close proximity to the courtroom. These separate rooms will also permit defense attorneys and probation officers to have electronic conferences or interviews with defendants housed at Riker's Island on non-calendar days.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact Barry Clarke Esq., the Chief Clerk, at 646-386-3900 or by e-mail at bclarke@courts.state.ny.us.