Charleston County courts using Zoom video website to hold some court hearings

Updated: Apr. 8, 2020 at 2:19 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Courts in Charleston County are using the Zoom video website to hold some court hearings in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson says even though courtrooms are closed officials realized they couldn’t shut down the system entirely, so they turned to video conferencing.

“There are lots of platforms out there. Zoom was the simplest to to us and the quickest for us to get rolling,” Wilson said Wednesday.

Wilson says for now the hearings are for cases that are not very controversial.

She says a prosecutor, defense attorney, judge, clerk of court, court reporter, defendant and victim are involved.

“It’s the Brady Bunch setup where we have each cube with the parties involved in the case with an opportunity to speak,” Wilson said. “And It’s been nice since that so far there hasn’t been cross talk, there hasn’t been distractions.”

Wilson says trials cannot be held under this system because it would be difficult to pass court documents around to both sides.

She also says a jury would want to examine evidence hands on.

Wilson says down the line the video hearings may be used if court has to be closed due to a hurricane or flooding.

She expects the video system to start in Berkeley County courts next week.

“I think it may in the long run make for a more efficient process when we come out of this,” Wilson said.

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