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COVID-19 Information - Remote Hearings

The Deschutes County Circuit Court is committed to continuing to provide justice and to protecting our community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  One of the key efforts has been to continue to hold hearings and trials during the pandemic remotely.  When hearings and trials need to be held in-person, the court has taken steps to ensure appropriate social distancing can be employed in the jury assembly room and courtrooms.  Beginning this Fall, juror orientation and most jury trials will be held at the North Sister Conference Hall at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center to create an even safer environment.  Please scroll down or click on the links below to for further information.  COVID-19 information for jurors can be found here.

Remote Hearings by Telephone and Video

Submitting Exhibits for Remote Hearings

Courtroom at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center

Presiding Judge Orders related to COVID-19

Remote Hearings by Telephone and Video

The Court users Cisco Webex Meetings to conduct remote hearings by telephone and video.  Please review this document which contains general infroamtion about remote hearings:  Remote Hearing Instructions.pdf

Telephone hearings

Most remote hearings are conducted by telephone.  The hearings notice sent to your attorney or to you, if you are self-represented, contains the telephone number and access code to use for your hearing.  You can also determine which access code to use by looking at the court's calendars to determine which calendar your case is set on and then finding the corresponding access code for that calendar here.

Video Hearings

A limited number of hearings are now being conducted by video.  If your hearing is going to conducted by video, your attorney or the Judge's Judicial Assistant will provide you with a link and/or the CISCO Webex Meetings code for the hearing.  It is highly recommended that you use the CISCO Webex Meetings application to join the hearing to ensure you have a good, quality connection.  Generally, connecting by using an internet browser results in poorer quality video.  Please also be aware that the mobile apps for CISCO Webex Meetings do not all offer the same functions or all of the functions available on a regular computer.


Submitting Exhibits for Remote Hearings (See PJO 2020-14)

Exhibits that are submitted prior to a court hearing must be submitted by 4:00pm, at least two (2) court days, prior to the hearing and in one of the following ways: 

E-Filing
  • Users can visit https://oregon.tylerhost.net/ofsweb and register for an account
  • There is no filing fee to file exhibits
  • Filers must use an exhibit list in substantially the same format as the attached local“Exhibit List "
  • All exhibits may be filed under one “EB" (Exhibit) code as long as they are listed on the cover sheet.
  • The exhibit list must be served on all parties in the case. A certificate of service (included in the exhibit list) must be completed and accompany any submitted exhibits.
  • Exhibits must be submitted in “Black and White".
  • Exhibits must be submitted as a single unified confidential PDF file (unless >25MB); and(1)Be accompanied by an index that identifies each exhibit, located at the beginning of the submission, and each identified exhibit must be electronically linked to the index; and(2)Include an electronic bookmark for each exhibit. 
Filing In-Person

File exhibits at the first floor Information window at the Deschutes County Courthouse.

  • There is no filing fee to file exhibits
  • Filers must use an Exhibit List in substantially the same format as the attached local “Exhibit List"
  • The exhibit list must be served on all parties in the case. A certificate of service (included as part of the Exhibit List) must be completed and accompany any submitted exhibits. 
Non-Documentary Exhibits (video or audio recordings)
  • Follow the “Filing In-Person" instructions above. 
Labeling Exhibits

Exhibits must be labeled with “Exhibit #" on the bottom right hand corner of each page of each exhibit. Pursuant to UTCR 6.080, exhibits must be labeled using the following system:

  • If you are the Plaintiff/Petitioner label exhibits - # 1 – 100
  • If you are the Defendant/Respondent label exhibits - # 101 - 199 
Exhibit List

Use the document below to list your exhibits.  This document must be filed with you exhibits and served on the other party.

EXH 6 - Remote Hearing Exhibit List.pdf


Courtroom at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center

Deschutes County has provided the North Sister Conference Hall at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center as an alternate courtroom location for use by the Circuit Court.  The Conference Hall, with nearly 9,500 square feet of open space, has been set up as a COVID-19 compliant courtroom.  This means that every person seated in the courtroom is at least six feet from any other person in the courtroom.  This includes the jury box, counsel tables and public seating.  The facility also has a separate room large enough to hold jury deliberations while maintaining six feet distance between jurors.

Directions

From SE Airport Way, enter the Fairgrounds and Expo Center using the Mt. Jefferson Drive entrance.  Go straight ahead to the main parking area.  Once parked, enter through the ticket booths at the main gate entrance.  The North Sister Conference Hall is the first large building on the left.  Address: 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond Oregon 97756.

Security

To improve security and the speed with which people can be screened, please limit the items you bring into the fairground courtroom.  All personal items that you bring into the courtroom must fit in a clear one-gallon plastic bag.  Attorneys and litigants may bring additional items necessary for the conduct of trial.

Pretrial Motions

Parties must advise the Presiding Judge at the trial readiness hearing on the Thursday prior to the week of trial if there are any pre-trial motions or other matters to be discussed with the trial judge prior to the start of trial.  At the trial readiness hearing, the Presiding Judge will schedule a hearing with the trial judge prior to the day of trial for pretrial motions and other matters.

Witnesses

The lobby area can only accommodate two witnesses waiting to testify.  If the witness seats are taken, additional witnesses may wait in the lobby of the fairgrounds administration building or in their vehicle.  The attorney or self-represented litigant who called the witness to testify is responsible for contacting a witness not in the lobby area and advising them when they are ready for them to enter the courtroom and testify.

Evidence Presentation

There are four monitors in the fairground courtroom for audio and visual evidence presentation.  Three of the monitors allow viewing by the jury, witness, counsel, parties and judge and one monitor allows viewing by the public.  An HDMI connection is located at the podium for connection to the monitors.  Parties are responsible for bringing their own equipment for creating and sending the audio/video signal and connecting to the HDMI connection.  The need and timing of use of the monitors for evidence presentation should be discussed with the judge and court staff prior to the start of the trial.

Jury Selection

All parties and counsel, if represented, must arrive promptly at 8:15 on the first morning of trial.  Parties and counsel will remain seated at counsel tables as the jurors arrive and are checked in.  Once all jurors have arrived and are checked in, the Judge will begin the jury selection process.  Challenges for cause will considered outside of the presence of the jury in the jury deliberation room.  A record of the challenges will be created at a later time, convenient within the conduct of the trial as determined by the trial judge.


Presiding Judge Orders

The Presiding Judge has issued several Orders relating to the conduct of Court business during the pandemic, including:

            PJO 2020-01 Regarding Security Release During a Pandemic Event.

            PJO 2020-02 Regarding Suspending Certain Requirements in SLR 7.036

            PJO 2020-03 Regarding Motions to Clear Warrants

            PJO 2020-05 Regarding Modifying Fines and Fees during the COVID-19 Pandemic

            PJO 2020-07 Regarding the Conduct of Juvenile Hearings

            PJO 2020-08 Requiring Protective Face Coverings in Court Facilities

            PJO 2020-12 Regarding the Conduct of Out-of-Custody Arraignments

            PJO 2020-13 Establishing an Alternate Court Location for Jury Trials

            PJO 2020-14 Regarding Filing Exhibits Pursuant to CJO 2020-016 

These orders, and all other operative Presiding Judge Orders, can be found here (scroll down to Presiding Judge Orders).



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