Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many proceedings in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia will be conducted through remote means such as video teleconferencing or telephone conferencing until further notice. See Administrative Order 20-03 and General Order 20-04. Consistent with recent guidance from the Judicial Conference of the United States and authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), members of the media and public will be permitted to hear and/or observe telephonic and video proceedings, free of charge, to the extent practicable. The ability to observe proceedings remotely is intended to be temporary and is available only until further notice.
When a proceeding is to be conducted via remote means to which the media and public are permitted access, a docket entry will appear in the case record available on PACER with instructions for accessing the proceeding. Members of the media and public may use those instructions to gain access, subject to the following conditions:
1. Consistent with Administrative Order 20-03, Fed. R. Crim. P. 53, Local Rule 83.4, and Judicial Conference policy, photographing, recording, or broadcasting of any judicial proceedings, including proceedings held by video teleconferencing or telephone conferencing, is strictly and absolutely prohibited. This prohibition includes not only recording audio and/or video of a remote proceeding but also capturing screenshots or making any other visual copy of any part of the proceeding. Violation of this prohibition may result in sanctions, including the suspension, revocation, or restriction of access to court proceedings or any other sanctions deemed necessary by the court.
2. Connect to the proceeding at least 10 minutes before the scheduled start. It is very disruptive when connections take place at or after the start time. The court reserves the right to deny access to or disconnect anyone who fails to connect before the scheduled start time.
3. During the proceeding, you must mute your device to avoid disruption. If joining a telephone conference, you must not place your device on hold. Otherwise, all participants will hear your hold music, and the proceeding will not be able to continue. If joining a video conference, you must not share your video or your screen. The court will disconnect anyone who is not an active participant in the proceedings and who fails to mute their device or who shares their video or screen. The court further reserves the right to mute and/or disconnect any person who causes any disruption, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Repeated disruptions may force the court to limit proceedings to parties, their attorneys, and others with an active role.
4. You are responsible for obtaining the equipment, software, Internet access, technical support, and any other resources necessary to observe proceedings remotely. The court is not responsible for and does not provide technical support for electronic resources that are not owned by the court.
Note: Depending on the technology being used, some proceedings may have capacity limitations. Priority will be given to parties, their attorneys, and others with an active role in the proceeding.
If you have any questions, contact the docketing section at 404-215-1655.