Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California
can a judge appear by phone in california without notifing the respondent?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Your question doesn't make any sense. Trial judges take the bench in courtrooms and call their calendars for hearing. People either appear in person, or through an attorney, or via Courtcall. Parties who wish to appear by Courtcall must make arrangements in advance to appear via Courtcall.
I've only seen one instance of a "judge" calling in by telephone. Last year I argued an appeal in Division Three of the Second District Court of Appeal and Justice Croskey was not present, but rather called in via telephone. The whole situation was bizarre.
I agree with Mr. Roach. I have never seen a judge call in by telephone to his or her own courtroom, but I suppose anything can happen. Typically, when a judge can't make it to court for whatever reason, all parties either wait for him or her, or the hearings get continued to another date.
I once appeared in a federal courtroom only to learn that the judge was not present and was conducting that morning's hearings by phone. It was a very strange experience, but I'm not sure there are any rules against it. (Note that state courts and federal courts are governed by different rules.)
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