15-5A-1. General provisions.

Whenever a proceeding in civil or criminal court is permitted under these rules to be conducted by interactive audiovisual device, the device shall enable a judge or magistrate to see and converse simultaneously with the parties, their counsel or other persons including witnesses. The interactive audiovisual signal shall be transmitted live and shall be secure from interception through lawful means by anyone other than the persons participating in the proceeding.

Parties and witnesses appearing by means of an interactive audiovisual device at proceedings authorized under this chapter to be conducted by such device are deemed to be present at the proceedings. Proceedings conducted by interactive audiovisual device under this chapter are also deemed to be conducted in open court unless otherwise closed to the public pursuant to statute.

A judge or any other person authorized by law to administer oaths may administer an oath to a witness who is not personally present but who is appearing by means of the interactive audiovisual device. The provisions of ยงย 22-29-1 shall apply even though the person taking the oath was not personally present before the person administering the oath, and prosecution for perjury shall take place in the jurisdiction of the tribunal receiving the interactive audiovisual testimony.

If parties and their counsel are at different locations, arrangements must be made so that they can communicate privately. Facilities must be available so that any documents filed or referred to during the interactive audiovisual communication, or required to be provided to a party, his or her counsel, or a witness prior to or during the proceeding, may be transmitted electronically, including, but not limited to, facsimile, personal computers, other terminal devices, and local, state, and national data networks. Any documents furnished by means of such an electronic data transmission may be served or executed by the person to whom it is sent, and returned in the same manner, and with the same force, effect, authority, and liability as an original document. All signatures on the electronic data transmissions shall be treated as original signatures.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed as affecting a defendant's right to waive counsel.

Source: SL 2007, ch 301 (Supreme Court Rule 06-69), eff. Jan. 1, 2007; SL 2022, ch 254 (Supreme Court Rule 22-01), eff. Feb. 1, 2022.