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ZOOM (Virtual) Hearings Appearance Procedures & Protocols

(Mandatory and Effective September 20, 2023)

Published 09/13/2023

Persons participating in video proceedings are reminded of the general prohibition against photographing, recording, streaming and rebroadcasting of court proceedings.  Any recording of a court proceeding held by video or teleconference, (including streaming, screenshots or any other audio or video reproduction) is absolutely prohibited by policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Any participant appearing before the Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Tennessee, in a Zoomgov hearing must ensure the following procedures and protocols are met before making a virtual appearance with the Court.

  1. Participant has registered on website and has received a confirmation email with a Zoom link from the court.
  2. Participant must ensure the device they are using in a Zoomgov hearing is an operable, audio-visual device that is conducive to providing the Court with a clear image of the participant and good audio sound.
  3. Participant must be in a professional, office-like setting with no noise or distracting sounds. Distracting real or virtual backgrounds are to be avoided.
  4. Avoid poor camera positioning. Participant must ensure they are at eye-level and within the Zoom frame when participating in a Zoomgov hearing.
  5. Participants must have their first, last name and complete, valid telephone number (including area code) listed when appearing in a Zoomgov hearing.
  6. Participant must ensure appropriate courtroom attire and decorum is maintained at all times.
  7. Phones shall be muted unless addressing the Court. Any distracting sound that would otherwise disrupt the Court must be avoided and muted. Sounds include, but are not limited to, notifications from any applications or devices, environmental sounds (e.g., construction noise, recreational outdoor noise, animal, etc.) and the like.
  8. No eating or drinking is allowed while on Zoomgov hearings.
  9. While participating in a Court matter, participants are not allowed to leave the Zoomgov image frame.
  10. While participating in a Court matter, other business is not to be conducted. A participant’s focus shall be solely on the matter before the Court (e.g., no phone calls, no watching of videos on other devices, no use of other platforms while on Zoom, no interruption by staff, no conversing with others in the room, etc.).
  11. Participants must at all times be knowledgeable as to any Zoom documentation posted on the Court’s website relative to procedures and instructions and must also ensure they are familiar with each bankruptcy judge’s personal webpage containing any local procedure or instruction posted by the judge.