Presiding Circuit Judge Jeremy Taylor announces that in-person hearings in the Ninth Judicial Circuit will resume on June 2, 2020. The administrative order relative to this resumption applies to the Circuit, District, Juvenile, and Probate courts. The resumption of hearings in municipal courts will be determined by the mayor of each municipality.

Judge Taylor reported that “Since March 13 when the Supreme Court instructed the court system to stop having in-person hearings, except in emergency situations,we have continued to hold hearings at the courthouse using technology, such as Zoom and Skype. So, we have been able to handle a significant amount of cases, including criminal, civil, domestic, juvenile, and probate matters even though we have been closed.”

There obviously are cases that would have been heard by the judges at the courthouse during the last few weeks that have not been. “We cannot hold jury trials until at least September 14, so there are many cases that we cannot finish until the Supreme Court lifts that restriction. But for all non-jury cases, we will be having hearings at the courthouse beginning June 2.”

Judge Taylor cautioned that if anyone receives a juror summons or receives a call about jury duty between now and August, it is likely that that is a scam. “We will not be sending out any jury summonses until August at the earliest. No one from the court system itself would ever call you about jury service unless you called us first.”

The court system and the county have worked to make the courthouse as safe as possible for hearings to resume. There are changes people will notice. “The county has gone to great lengths to work on having the courthouse ready. The security officers will be taking people’s temperature, we will only be allowing a certain amount of people in each courtroom, and we are limiting the number of cases that we set at any given time. We are following all health recommendations in order to make it as safe as possible. I appreciate the County Commission,the Sheriff, and the EMA for all they have done to help us.”

For questions regarding the setting of a individual case, a person should contact their attorney for information. If they do not have an attorney, they may contact the circuit clerk’s office or the office of the judge assigned to the case.

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