Area courts are taking precautions as Southern Illinois and the nation attempt to lessen the spread of COVID-19, including rescheduling some appearances and continuing some cases.
In the Second Judicial Circuit, which includes the counties of Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White, court operations are being curtailed beginning Tuesday, according to a statement from Chief Judge Thomas J. Tedeschi.
Tedeschi issued an administrative order Monday that applies to all 12 counties in the Second Circuit.
Many types of cases will be rescheduled to reduce the requirement for litigants, witnesses, jurors and others from having to gather at the courthouse. Many civil court cases, minor criminal and traffic cases will be rescheduled, while emergency matters and more serious criminal matters will go on as scheduled. Each party's attorney will get a notice in the mail upon rescheduling, so lawyers are asked to make sure their mailing addresses are updated and current. Attorneys should check in with the circuit clerk for the county or check judici.com for updated case information.
The entire order may be found at illinoissecondcircuit.info.
In the First Judicial Circuit, Jackson County Presiding Judge Christy W. Solverson released a statement about the precautions it's taking. Building maintenance staff has been directed to intensify cleaning and disinfecting efforts. Jury trials in civil cases and nonessential criminal cases in March and April will be continued.
For other cases for which jury trials will continue, jurors are asked to call the Jackson County Jury Office at 618-687-7341 if they have any symptoms of illness. The public is reminded not to report for jury service if they are sick. No one should enter the courthouse if they are feeling sick, have traveled outside the U.S. within the last 14 days or live with someone who has done so, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Attorneys who meet any of those conditions should contact the Jackson County Courthouse for accommodations or rescheduling.
Certain cases in high-volume dockets are being continued. New notices will be sent to attorneys; cases scheduled for April and May should also be monitored on judici.com.
For some civil and family matters, attorneys may be able to appear remotely through conference calls. Call the Jackson County Circuit Clerk's Office at 618-687-7300 for more information. The court will not conduct marriages other than those already set. Any new marriages or civil unions requested as of Monday will be set after May 1.
All Carbondale and Murphysboro City Court cases are continued. Notices of continued court dates will be sent to attorneys. For more information, call the Carbondale City Attorney's Office at 618-549-5302, or the Murphysboro City Attorney's Office at 618-687-2376.
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