COVID-19 Court Policy Changes

Hello, friends! In today’s episode Chuck talks about new court policy changes due to COVID-19 and how they affect you.

COVID-19 Court Policy Changes Video Transcript

Hi folks, Chuck Franklin here.  Times are changing as we all know and I’m not going to get into any of that right now. But it’s changed the practice of law to the extent Lawyers that have to go into court rooms every day, such as myself, especially in Criminal matters where we do multiple court appearances every morning, sometimes all day, in the afternoon, jury trials quite a fit.  If the Court is sort of re-opening to the public on June 1st, with a bunch of different variables.  Obviously, you’ll go through security just like at the airport.  But you’re going to have to have to have a mask that wraps around your nose and your mouth like you’ve seen some people wearing them in the streets, grocery stores, thing like that.

If you don’t have a mask, you’ll be denied entry into the Court House.  Since the social distancing rule of six feet will be in effect, if the line is let’s say forty people long, take that forty people long line and add six foot between everybody else and that line is going to get exponentially longer.   Which also means too when you go in through Security it’s going to take longer because of the inspection.  And it sounds like they’re going to be taking your temperature and asking questions about any signs or symptoms of being sick.

If you’re late for Court, you better have an explanation for the Judge.  So, what I’m telling you is if you have a court appearance, get there a half an hour early… forty-five minutes early.  Get through Security with this long line and then go sit in the hallway, go sit in the Court room assuming it is open; but plan for it to be a long line, like TSA lines.  On top of that if you refuse to wear a mask or refuse to answer any questions or if they use a laser thermometer on your forehead and you give Security a hard time, they will notify the Court of that and you will be considered… well, let me just tell you they will issue you a warrant.  It’s just like you didn’t show up at all.

So, don’t be late.  Show up with a mask at least and be ready to answer a bunch of questions.  Also, too because of the Covid-19 issues, your Rule 8 Speedy Trial Rights are suspended until the end of the year.  This couple of months that we really haven’t been able to go to the Court in a normal fashion a lot of things that I’ve been doing have been over the phone.  We’ve been continuing things out, continuing things out, just kicking the can down the road.  We’re already into July that I’m having things reset out of the some of the local Courts, the Municipal Courts on let’s say DUIs or Domestic Violence cases.  My Superior Court cases are getting kicked out until the latter part of June, I believe, right now.

I really don’t know what to expect.  I really don’t know what to expect until I walk the first… the first day that I walk through Security.  In addition to that, don’t bring your buddies, your friends, whatever if they’re… to Court.  Because if they’re not involved in the Court proceedings themselves, victims, witnesses, somebody that’s going to speak on your behalf, your Lawyer, if they’re not involved… and I mean directly involved, they’re not allowed to be in that Court room. They’re going to initially limit the Court room size to ten people.  And they’re going to practice social distancing within the Court room.  And Court staff is apparently going to be wearing masks.  I assume Judges are too.  It’s going to be difficult to hear, it’s going to be difficult to speak, it’s going to be vastly different.  How long this last, I don’t know.  So, be prepared if you’ve got a Court appearance.  Civil, Family Law same things, folks. 

Try to stay healthy out there and it’s a … I know it’s more than a small inconvenience but it’s something that need to be done so you don’t get in trouble from whatever Judge you have to go in front of.  Thanks.