Unfortunate circumstances like a raging pandemic, economic turmoil, and a borderline global recession have not been able to stand in the way of justice in America. Across the country (and the world), courts in America are attempting to take the justice system online by enabling virtual courts to become much more effective, affecting how process servers operate. Since the impact of COVID-19 was sudden, there was a need to incorporate these changes into the justice system as soon as possible.
Even though the idea behind this plan seemed fruitful, the execution has been far from perfect. These significant changes could impact how the justice system operates as a whole, even when the pandemic has come to an end.
But with that said, what exactly is a virtual court?
Understanding the Virtual Court Model
Hearings that have previously been held in a physical courtroom will now be dealt with in a virtually-enabled setting. This means the participants of the hearing will be in different locations and take part using a video conferencing facility or a telephone. Typically, hearings will rely on Skype Business or Zoom to communicate with every associated party.
According to the law, essential members of a hearing are:
- A judge,
- A defense attorney/public defender,
- A prosecutor, and
- The county court clerk.
Suppose an individual is present in the courtroom. In that case, their temperature must be measured, their hands are washed, and they must also answer questions for screening purposes until they are allowed to enter the courtroom.
Because of these remote jury centers, courts worldwide now have the opportunity to resume criminal trials while staying socially distant. But a virtual court model that relies solely on video does come with a few pitfalls.
Limitations of a Virtual Court
Assessing the credibility of evidence presented in court over video is difficult. Moreover, a hearing in a court is a lot more than people accusing and defending. A person’s demeanor and body language speak volumes, and it can be hard to understand if a suspect is honest or not.
Some technical hurdles are also expected to come in the way since PDF-proof has lawyers and jury members scrambling around trying to understand which file they need to open and when.
How Will a Process Server Be Affected?
If this technology’s use outlives the pandemic, process servers will have to adapt to a new courtroom model. New skills will be required, like a virtual notary, an eFiling service, and essential virtual documents processing.
This will also change how clients want their cases to be handled since a virtual hearing will be needed, and people will want to do business with a process server who is fully adept.
EGA Process Serving understands the needs of a changing world and is always ahead of its competitors. We are professionally and personally accountable to every client we deal with, and our skilled professionals go above and beyond to provide you with the services you require.
Call us today on 888-565-7774, or fill out a form to reach us outside of our business hours.