Court Hearings During COVID-19


All courts in Alabama are now open for in-person hearings. Some courts are still choosing to hold virtual hearings. 


What should I do if I have a scheduled hearing? 

  • If you are a current Legal Services Alabama client, call your attorney to find out what you need to do. 
  • If you do not know who your attorney is, call the local office or the Call Center at 1-866-456-4995. 
  • If you are NOT a current LSA client and do not have an attorney, you can call your courthouse directly if you have questions. You should receive something in the mail about your new court date. 


What if I need to file an answer or something else in my case?

  • You need to go to the clerk's office of your county courthouse. 
  • If a courthouse is closed for any reason, there should be a drop box out front where you can drop off papers. 
  • If you are served with court papers, you must file an answer within a certain amount of time. 
  • If you want to communicate with the judge or court at all, you probably need to file a "motion" or letter with the relevant information. 


Information for Virtual Hearings

  • If you have a virtual hearing, you will receive a notice in the mail. 
  • You should provide the court or judge's office with your phone number or email address if requested. 
  • How to log on to your virtual hearing:
    • You can usually call in from any phone (cell phone or landline)
    • If you have the ability to download apps, most courts are using the Zoom app for virtual hearings. 
    • You can download the app before your hearing. 
  • Try to log on from a quiet location where you will not be disturbed. 
  • Make sure your face is easily visible. 
  • Remember that this is just like being in court in person. You should be respectful to the judge and the opposing side. Speak clearly and calmly whenever a question is directed at you. 
  • You may be placed in a "breakout room" with the other side or their attorney to discuss your case. This is like going out into the hallway in person. This is a chance for you to try to resolve your case before going in front of the judge. You do not have to settle your case, and you can go back in front of the judge. You may consider an offer made to you by the other side. Try to decide if you think you can do it and if it's in your best interest. 
  • If you do not settle your case, you can go back to the judge to have a hearing, and both sides can tell their side. 
  • You may also be placed in a "waiting room" before or during the hearing. If this takes a long time, don't worry. You can call the court or judge's office if you are worried. 
  • If you have any evidence or witnesses to bring, have them with you. Ask the court at your hearing how you can submit evidence to the judge. If you have any witnesses you want to testify, have them with you. You should let the court know you have a witness and what their name is. A witness can only testify about things they saw or witnessed personally. 


Call Legal Services Alabama at 1-866-456-4995 or apply online here for legal help. If you qualify for services, we may be able to provide legal assistance for certain types of civil cases. 
Last Review and Update: Apr 26, 2021
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