On June 15, in accordance with the Missouri Supreme Court which provides guidance to the presiding judge of each judicial circuit, Judge Craig Carter announces Wright, Douglas and Ozark counties, in the 44th Judicial Circuit, will move into Phase Three guidelines on Monday, June 15, 2020.
The courts, however, will continue social distancing as well as strive to allow vulnerable litigants, witnesses, victims, attorneys, and other individuals involved in court proceedings to participate remotely via audiovisual technology.
The directive allows the courts to reopen in phases, and upon meeting noted criteria, advance through to Operating Phase Three. One criteria considered is the local health conditions in relation to the COVID-19 virus. The Supreme Court’s order also allows a local court to move back in phases if local health conditions deteriorate.
Operating Phase Three is the only phase wherein a court may resume regular jury proceedings, and then, only if social distancing protocols can be achieved.
No court may advance back to pre-COVID operations until an order is received from the Missouri Supeme Court.