Sometimes circumstances leave you unable to attend your upcoming appearance date in Bronx Family Court. Perhaps you now live in a different state or even country, or an emergency has come up, forcing you to be out of New York when court is in session. Provided your absence is for a valid reason, you may be allowed to appear telephonically instead of in person.

A telephonic hearing enables one or more parties in a court action to call in or “appear” via telephone instead of being present in the courtroom. There is no automatic telephonic appearance option: you must make a request in writing to the judge who is handling your case at least ten days before the appearance.

Bronx family court judges tend to vary on their specific rules for telephonic appearance permission requests. Some of them will grant an oral requests while others require you to fill out and submit a form known as an Electronic Testimony Application and Waiver of Physical Presence. Using this form, you will have to explain the reason for your inability to attend court on the required date.

Anyone wishing to appear telephonically must obtain consent from all necessary parties. Once approval is granted, you will typically have to arrange the telephonic appearance at a local lawyer’s office, notary public, office of child support enforcement or local courthouse.

How Does a Telephonic Appearance Work?

After the confirmation is paid, the provider will give you a confirmation within 24 hours. This confirmation indicates the date and time of your call and includes a toll-free number and access code.

When it’s time to call (many providers advise against using a cell phone or pay phone), do so and enter the access code. You may connect immediately unless the court is awaiting other parties, at which point you will be placed on hold until they are on the line.

Once you are connected, simply listen and wait until the judge has officially called your case and indicated that it’s your turn to speak. Be calm and courteous, and say your name clearly each time you speak, so that you may be properly identified for the record. Be sure to use the telephone handset, not the speaker phone, to ensure that the judge and all other parties involved in the process can hear you without difficulty.

If you are worried that you might not be able to make an upcoming appearance in Bronx family court, then notify your attorney right away. They can assist you in arranging for a telephonic hearing, so that you do not risk penalties that are otherwise avoidable. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx family court lawyer who handles child support, child visitation, spousal maintenance (alimony), child custody and divorce. If you have a case in Bronx Family Court and need legal representation, then contact Mr. Lutzky at 718-514-6619 to set up a free in-office initial consultation or visit to learn more.