Mental Health Offsite Hearing - Santa Clara Superior Court

Probate icon Project Name: Mental Health Offsite Hearings
Court: Santa Clara Superior Court
   Links: Court Website

Overview/Program Description:

The court has implemented video hearings in mental health calendars in probate for patients at a few state hospitals to reduce the cost and inconvenience of transporting the patients to court. The court has averaged 2 to 3 hearings per month by video appearance. Mental health litigants were previously transported to hearings at the courthouse, causing a disruption in their treatment. Conversely, the cost of having all parties travel to the state hospital was prohibitive. The court received support and assistance from two state hospitals to facilitate implementation of this program.

Program Benefits/Savings:

The court experienced a higher degree of public access by allowing patients to participate remotely. In addition, by using a video conferencing system located in the courthouse, the court saved the travel time and expense of the judicial officer and staff traveling to a video conference vendor. An unexpected benefit was that this program is now used in mental health hearings in the criminal court as well as probate court.