News Flash


Posted on: July 23, 2020




In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to protect the health and safety of all litigants, witnesses, court personnel, and other necessary participants, the court hereby adopts the following guidelines and protocols for in-person trials, effective July 28, 2020:

1.    To minimize the number of individuals in the court building, trials will be scheduled at individual times in order to properly clean and wipe down common areas between cases.

2.    Everyone entering the building is subject to a health screening, including, but not limited to, a non-invasive body temperature scan.  Any person who registers a body temperature above 100.4 degrees will be required to leave the building. 

3.    All persons are required to wear a face covering and follow all social distancing and hygiene requirements. Like all other attire, face coverings should be appropriate for and respectful of the courtroom environment.   Masks will be provided for those who need one.  At the court’s discretion, exceptions to the face covering requirement may be made for reasons including, but not limited to, a medically documented health condition, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or firmly held religious beliefs.  During proceedings, the court shall have the individual discretion to make exceptions to face covering requirements in the interest of justice.

4.    Parties are to report five minutes before their scheduled trials.  Enter the building via the Galbraith Road entrance and register with the court officer in the hallway outside the courtroom.  Promptness is essential for ensuring that scheduled trials can be held in a timely and efficient manner, while at the same time adhering to all outlined social distancing guidelines.  Therefore, Defendants more than 5 minutes late for their scheduled trial time will be marked as a Failure To Appear and a capias will be issued.

5.    Parties shall provide the court officer a phone number where they can be reached and the names of any witnesses who are expected to testify.  Upon registering with the court officer, parties shall return to their vehicles or otherwise wait outside the building.  Parties, witnesses, and others may not congregate in the hallway outside the courtroom.  The court officer will call parties when the court is ready to hear their case.  Upon being called by the court officer, Parties shall immediately report to the courtroom. 

6.    Aside from essential courtroom personnel, only parties and counsel will be permitted in the courtroom.  Children, other family members, and others not directly associated with the case will not be permitted in the building.  

7.    Prospective witnesses are to remain outside the building until needed for trial.  It is the responsibility of each party to ensure that all witnesses are available when trial begins and to contact each individual witness when the court is ready to receive testimony.  Each witness shall be discharged after testifying unless a party requests that the witness be subject to recall.

8.    Parties needing to see the clerk should do so after trial has concluded, then immediately leave the building.

9.    The court reserves the right to amend, modify, or otherwise adjust these guidelines in the interest of justice.

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