Washington County Courts are opening back up for in-person cases for the first time since they were closed due to Covid-19 last spring.
Washington County government buildings have reopened as well with some restrictions, and masks will be required unless otherwise specified.
Starting Monday, May 24th, Washington County Circuit Court will be open as normal and will begin scheduling in-person hearings, according to Renee Cooley, Court Reporter.
Washington County Superior Court will open back up beginning June 1, according to Shirley Batt, Court Reporter.
Superior Court will resume in-person hearings for all types of cases except as
- Inmates will appear by video unless the Court approves a request to
appear in person.
- Parties, Witnesses, Attorneys, and Criminals may appear by video or
telephone unless specifically ordered to appear in person.
Batt said they must arrange participation by video or telephone at least 24 hours in advance when possible.
No Court hearings may be photographed or recorded at any time.
When possible, social distancing will still be required, and approximately
half of the seats in the courtroom will be designated as unavailable.
Masks must be properly worn in the common areas of the building.
Disposable masks are available at the security desk.
Masks must be properly worn (covering mouth and nose) in Superior Court
unless fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination may be required by court employees or security officers.
Cell phones and personal items may be brought into Superior Court, but cell
phones must be silent and absolutely no weapons are ever allowed in the
building except by approved law enforcement officers, said Batt.
Circuit Court, the Clerk, and the Sheriff will continue to set policy for their own
employees and areas.
If you have a hearing in Circuit Court, you are expected to appear in person for your hearing, Cooley noted in a press release.
This includes all hearings including but not limited to all CHINS, criminal(even Pre-Trial Conference), juveniles, and domestic.
Judge Larry Medlock will not be granting video hearings unless they are absolutely necessary.
If you wish to bring someone with you to court you may now do so.
Masks are still required in the common areas of the building.
In the Circuit Courtroom, masks may be removed if you are fully vaccinated.
The Judge, Bailiff, and/or Court Reporters may request proof of vaccination card at an open hearing, so please bring your vaccination card with you.
If you have a SUPERIOR Court case, you need to check with that Court on their protocols.