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Connecticut News

Connecticut Supreme Court allows remote custody hearings during the pandemic

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Connecticut’s Supreme Court chamber.

Connecticut courts didn’t violate the state constitution by holding parental custody hearings remotely during the pandemic, according to a ruling from the state Supreme Court.

In three separate cases, parents lost custody of their children in trials held remotely over Zoom. They appealed the decisions, saying the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution’s due process clause should have given them the right to a trial in person.

Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald said the text of the state constitution says nothing about whether or not trials have to be conducted in person.

In addition, he said the unprecedented nature of the pandemic meant the courts had never before had the occasion to interpret the constitution as requiring in-person trials.