(a) Request for Telephonic and Video Conference Proceedings. The Court may permit any party in interest to participate in a hearing by telephone or video conference. A plaintiff, movant or applicant desiring a telephonic or video hearing or conference may request the same when the motion or application is filed, or at the time the matter is scheduled for hearing. Parties in interest may request, not less than three (3) days in advance, that a hearing or conference be conducted by telephone, or video conference. Any party requesting a telephonic hearing or video conference shall advise the Court whether or not other parties agree to conduct the hearing by telephone or video conference. The Court shall determine whether to grant the request on the basis of, inter alia, conservation of the time and resources of the parties and the Court. At any time, the Judge may vacate any previously granted application to appear via video or telephone conference, and may order such party to personally appear in court for any hearing.


(b) Reliance on Written Submissions and Use of Exhibits. Copies of written submissions or exhibits to be considered in connection with a matter scheduled for telephonic or video hearing shall be filed with the Clerk and served upon the parties in accordance with R.I. LBR 9070-1.


(c) Procedure for Arranging Video Conferencing. It is the responsibility of the party seeking the video conference to make the necessary arrangement, and all costs of transmission, including the hire of equipment and operators at remote sites, will be its responsibility. In addition, after the granting of a request for a video conference/hearing, the requesting party shall contact the courtroom deputy to coordinate the proceeding.


(d) Procedure for Hearing via Video Conference. The person arranging the video conference/hearing must ensure that there are sufficient microphones and that the cameras can cover all relevant parties. In addition, it is the responsibility of the movant to provide a qualified operator at the remote site throughout the hearing to deal with technical issues.


(1) Decorum. The provisions of Local Rule 5072-1 governing courtroom decorum shall apply and the formalities of courtroom protocol shall be observed.


(2) Witnesses. Any witness called will be sworn in by video conference by the courtroom deputy clerk or other authorized court personnel.


(3) Identification. All parties in attendance must identify themselves and state their interest in the proceeding.


(e) Technical Requirements. Any video-conferencing system utilized under this rule must meet the following minimum requirements:


(1) All participants must be able to see, hear, and communicate with each other simultaneously during the proceeding.


(2) All participants must be able to see, hear, and otherwise observe any physical evidence or exhibits presented during the proceeding, either by video, facsimile, or other method.


(3) Video quality must be adequate to allow the Court and the participants to observe each other’s demeanor and nonverbal expressions.


(4) Video conference facilities must provide for confidential communication between attorneys and their client.


(5) The Court must be satisfied that the equipment at the remote site is adequate and appropriate. To accomplish this, a test run between the remote site and the Court site must be conducted 24 hours prior to the commencement of the hearing.


(6) The Clerk’s office will need the following technical information:


(A) Address and phone number of the remote site


(B) Details of the remote video conferencing equipment including number of ISDN lines and connection speed (a minimum connection speed of 384K is required).


(f) Recording of Hearing. The video conference/hearing constitutes a Court proceeding, and recording of other than the official court version is prohibited. No party may record images or sounds from the remote location.