COVID-19/Coronavirus Updates

3/27/20 : The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit is taking measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on local court proceedings while taking precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of the public and court personnel. Consistent with guidance from the Florida Supreme Court, per AOSC20-15 and AOSC20-17 - the courts will utilize telecommunications to the maximum extent possible to conduct all court proceedings through April 17, 2020. In accordance with AO 2020-01 essential court proceedings will continue in Martin, St Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties as bulleted below:

 

  • First appearance hearings;
  • Juvenile dependency shelter hearings;
  • Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) advisory hearings; Hearings on petitions for Judicial Waiver of Notice;
  • Juvenile delinquency detention hearings;
  • Hearings on ex parte petitions for temporary injunctions relating to safety of an individual;
  • Instanter hearings on child support writ reviews; Hearings on ex parte petitions for risk protection orders;
  • Hearings on petitions for the appointment of an emergency temporary guardian;
  • Hearings on Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders;
  • Involuntary commitment hearings under the Baker Act or Marchman Act;
  • Hearings on motions to set or modify monetary bond for defendants in custody;
  • Hearings on petitions for extraordinary writs as necessary to protect constitutional rights;
  • Criminal arraignments as necessary;
  • Issuance of warrants or authorization for wiretaps; 
  • Other emergency or time-sensitive matters as determined by the presiding judge.
  • A change of plea hearing that results in release from county jail.

Additionally, the court will hear, as necessary, critical proceedings related to the state of emergency or the public health emergency, including but not limited to:

  • Violation of quarantine or isolation;
  • Violation of orders to limit travel;
  • Violation of orders to close public or private buildings; and
  • Enforcement of curfew orders.

To the maximum extent possible, mission essential proceedings shall be accomplished using electronic means for some or all participants. If it is not possible to conduct these proceedings remotely, the presiding judicial officer shall ensure that a “social distancing” method of at least six feet is utilized. All persons who find themselves in a courthouse facility should maintain this social distance from each other at all times.

All in-person non-essential functions are canceled or postponed until further notice through April 17, 2020. To the extent possible, the courts will conduct these proceedings electronically.

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 publicinformation@circuit19.org

Jury 

In accordance with Supreme Court Administrative Order AOSC20-17 all jury trials will be suspended through April 17.