Chief Judge Lawrence R. Mirman approved the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit’s COVID-19 Operational Plan outlining the Circuit’s plans to re-open the courthouses in a manner that protects the public’s health and safety. The plan provides safety protocols allowing the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit to transition from Phase One to Phase Two beginning on Monday, June 1, 2020. Consistent with Supreme Court administrative orders the anticipated phases for the reopening of courts includes four phases:
- Phase 1: In-person contact is inadvisable, court facilities are effectively closed to the public, and in-person proceedings are rare;
- Phase 2: Limited in-person contact is authorized for certain purposes and/or requires the use of protective measures;
- Phase 3: In-person contact is more broadly authorized and protective measures are relaxed; and
- Phase 4: COVID-19 no longer presents a significant risk to public health and safety.
While in Phase Two, the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit will continue to maximize remote court proceedings and programs. Several essential and non-essential court proceedings will be conducted remotely via Zoom or teleconferencing means.
Anyone entering the 19th Judicial Circuit courthouses is required to wear appropriate face coverings while in the buildings. All persons entering are also subject to a health and safety screening. This includes a temperature scan and limited inquiries regarding potential respiratory illness. People with a fever above 100.4 degrees or who answers yes to the screening questions will not be allowed to enter the courthouse. These people will be directed by court deputies who will make alternative arrangements. We ask that only those with official court business, scheduled proceedings, and appointments visit any of our courthouses or court facilities.
While inside and outside the courthouses, people must maintain six feet of distance from others. Queuing areas and decals have been placed throughout the courthouses to maintain social distancing. The galleries of all courtrooms have been measured and the seating has been marked to maintain the required six feet distance. The number of people inside elevators, lobbies, and other public areas will be limited. Hand sanitizer will be widely available for use throughout the courthouses to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Questions about case status should be directed to the presiding judges and magistrates. Contact information is located on the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit’s website: http://www.circuit19.org/judges. You may also call 772-807-4370 or email email@example.com
7/17/20: Jury trials suspended for an indeterminate period effective immediately to include Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.