Missouri Courts to reopen as part of Phase One

Missouri Courts to reopen as part of Phase One
Starting May 18, all Circuit, Associate Circuit and Municipal divisions of the 32 Judicial Circuit will reopen. (Source: WOIO)

MISSOURI. (KFVS) - Starting May 18, all Circuit, Associate Circuit and Municipal divisions of the 32 Judicial Circuit will reopen.

There will be operational directives, as part of the Phase One plan.

Phase One directives will remain in effect until at least May 31.

If the COVID-19 outbreak worsens, the Courts are allowed to close and revert back to Phase Zero of the COVID-19 recovery plan.

Different counties can be in different stages of the recovery plan at the same time.

The operational directives include:

  1. No person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to a person exhibiting those symptoms may enter a court facility.
  2. Personnel will be positioned at every public entrance to turn away any person who is prohibited by this order from entering the facility.
  3. Only litigants, witnesses and attorneys will be admitted to the building. Family members and supporters must remain outside. If a litigant believes that he or she cannot proceed without support, the litigant should contact his or her attorney and request a continuance. The press will be admitted upon reasonable request.
  4. A maximum of ten people per public room is encouraged where possible. This number will not include court personnel in the courtrooms.
  5. The use of face masks by litigants and staff is encouraged but not required. The Court has no masks to distribute.
  6. Everyone will exercise social distancing. Tape markers will be placed at the courthouse entrances and within courtrooms where necessary to indicate spacing of six feet. Seating in courtrooms will be designated at six foot intervals.
  7. Court personnel will work in shifts when possible and vulnerable court personnel will work from home.
  8. All facilities will be cleaned as much as possible and everyone will practice good handwashing and protective hygiene.
  9. All jury trials are suspended through July 6, 2020 and this suspension may be extended thereafter.
  10. Matters involving vulnerable individuals may be taken up by video conferencing where possible and, where that is not possible, continuances shall be granted liberally.
  11. A copy of this order shall be posted at every public entrance to each court facility.

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