Court and Cornavius Impact:
The Michigan Supreme Court is recommending that local courts postpone jury trials in light of the state’s first confirmed cases of coronavirus. The recommendation comes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The Supreme Court recommends that court administrators adjourn civil and criminal jury trials, unless the defendant is in custody or if there have been long delays. The Supreme Court also suggested postponing hearings with vulnerable individuals, such as people over 60 and those who have preexisting medical conditions. Court officials may plan remote hearings when possible. The recommendations are not a directive, and administrators are encouraged to consider the steps with input from local experts
On March 12, 2020 the Wayne County Circuit Court issued a press release regarding upcoming Court hearings. The following is the press release:
Detroit, MI – “During the state of emergency as declared by Governor Whitmer, the Third Circuit Court will take steps to keep the public, jurors, litigants and court staff updated about efforts to deal with COVID-19. (Coronavirus) The Court will continue to treat the issue seriously, and will monitor the situation through contact with local public health officials.
At this time, in order to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19, judges will exercise their discretion in the handling of court business. In an effort to address the evolving state of emergency as effectively as possible, beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, judges will:
- Continue to conduct all in-custody criminal and juvenile jury trials as scheduled,
- Continue to conduct all in-custody and not in-custody criminal and juvenile bench trials as scheduled, and
- Adjourn all civil and non in-custody (bond) criminal and juvenile jury trials scheduled through Monday, March 30, 2020.
In addition, judges will:
- Conduct remote hearings whenever possible. Conference calls, zoom technology, etc. will be used whenever practical.
- Adjourn hearings with ill or medically vulnerable persons.
- Adjourn trials if attorneys, parties, jurors or necessary witnesses are ill or demonstrate symptoms of illness.
- Work in collaboration with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department to increase video conferencing with the Criminal Division
Everyone is urged to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus to co-workers, family, friends and the public. Visit Michigan.gov for additional information.
If you are sick and a litigant, witness or juror, notify the appropriate courtroom, but do not come to court. If while in the courtroom you see someone who appears to be sick, notify courtroom staff.
This protocol shall remain in effect until further notice from the Court. Updates will be available on 3rdcc.org.
Wayne County Circuit Court, Coronavirus and impact on Family Law
The Judges in the Wayne County Circuit Family Division will exercise their discretion in the handling of court matters. At Stelmock Law Firm, PC you can still access the online portal to obtain your documents, to upload new documents and to ask questions. If you feel uncomfortable meeting in person we can speak to you via telephone calls or utilize Zoom technology instead of meeting you in person.
If you are a client of Stelmock Law Firm, PC please call regarding Court and Coronavirus Impact. As we learn more we will keep our clients informed via our online portal.
Please keep in mind your specific situation may be somewhat different from the norm. The information provided in this article is a guide to the basics of Court and Coronavirus Impact. Please call, 734.927.9782, and speak with a Michigan Family Law Attorney at Stelmock Law Firm, PC to discuss your matter. We represent clients in the Metro Detroit area (Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Livonia, Westland, Ann Arbor, Novi) and throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Livingston counties. The firm’s office is located at 8556 N. Canton Center Road, Canton, Michigan 48187.
Take care and stay safe.