NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court is about to make it easier to participate in divorce, child support or custody hearings somewhere away from the courthouse. 

Court Administrator Elizabeth Stephenson says they’re being awarded a $9,100 technology grant from the Ohio Supreme Court. This will be used to add video-conferencing hardware and software for the domestic relations magistrate’s courtroom.

“It helps us out because we could have a witness or a party or an interpreter be remote, not in the courtroom, and still have their hearing and they can meaningfully participate, and the people in the courtroom can see the person talking instead of just perhaps listening to somebody who might have gotten permission to be a part of the hearing by telephone,” she explains.

Stephenson says the people outside the courtroom will join in by using their computer, tablet or anything online with a camera.

“You can participate on the other end with a cellphone. Like when I test the system, I just use my phone and I go to the hallway and I dial in. You can also have this life-size unit or you can use a compatible system

Stephenson says the court is hoping to receive the videoconferencing equipment within a few months.