The DeKalb County Courthouse, Activities Building, Revenue Commissioner’s office and County Library are all re-opening Monday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The move comes as state public health restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 are lifted in phases.
DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow ordered the courthouse and Activities Building closed to the general public except by appointment on March 31. Since then, business has been conducted and employees available to serve the public by phone or email. Online services have remained available in most offices.
Probate Judge Ronnie Osborn said driver’s license renewals will be available by appointment between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. starting Monday, May 18. The number to call is (256) 845-8510.
Presiding Circuit Judge Jeremy Taylor issued a new local Administrative Order regarding in-person hearings affecting his schedule, as well as Circuit Judge Shaunathan Bell and Circuit Judge Andrew Hairston. The District Court Judge is the Honorable Steven Whitmire.
During the next two weeks, many cases will be handled through virtual hearings.
“Because of the increase in infection rates in the circuit, in-person hearings will NOT resume until Tuesday, June 2nd,” Taylor said.
By order of the Alabama Supreme Court, local courtrooms will not be able to resume jury trials before September 14th. This is subject to change depending on infection rates, according to Taylor.
“While we are not having in-person hearings, the justice system continues to operate,” he said. “Law enforcement officers are continuing to do their jobs, often at great risk to themselves. We continue to work with judges and local attorneys in handling cases through virtual hearings, and we are making plans for when we can again meet in the courtroom.”
Any victims or witnesses can call the court’s offices with any questions. The number in DeKalb County is (256) 845-8550. In Cherokee County, call (256) 927-5577.
DeKalb County Revenue Commissioner Tyler Wilks said the lobby of his offices in Fort Payne and Rainsville will re-open to the public starting May 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday.
“We will mark six-foot lines on the floor to help with social distancing guidelines. Please observe these as well as following all signage that will be shown. We encourage you to wear a mask and to be diligent in protecting yourself if you are coming into the lobby, [but] neither you nor I can totally control others around you,” Wilks wrote in a statement.
“Please limit any unnecessary individuals from coming into the office with you to conduct your business, we’d request they wait in the car when possible. No one will be allowed into employee areas during this time. If you need information, property maps, tax history or any other items you would normally get from our office please be aware you won’t be able to access these records in our office. That must still be done online or by phone.”
Wilks said credit card and mail fees will no longer be waived after Sunday, May 17. Late penalties have been waived through June 19th so there is no need for everyone to come into the office on day one.
“No one will be allowed entry who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 including fever and coughing. If you are experiencing these, please call (256) 845-8515 or go online. If you are elderly or in a higher-risk category, we encourage you to call ahead to ask about line volume so as to limit your exposure to others as much as possible,” Wilks said.
For questions about matters before Circuit Clerk Todd Greeson’s office, call (256) 845-8525 or visit https://dekalb.alacourt.gov/clerk.html to electronically access court documents or pay traffic tickets or district criminal case fines online.
For questions about the DeKalb County Commission, call (256) 845-8500 or (256) 304-0200.
For questions about the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency, call (256) 845-8569.