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Jackson County Courts required to limit in-person access following high number of COVID cases

Jackson County Courthouse - Michigan
Jackson County Courthouse - Michigan(Jackson County District Court)
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) -

In response to the cases of COVID-19 on the rise, the Michigan Supreme Court is now placing more restrictions on in-person services until further notices.

Jackson County courts are having to rollback their in-person capacity due to the high percentage of positive COVID-19 cases. This comes after the New York Times listed Jackson as having the highest rate of new cases over any other city in America.

For the general public, this means:

1. Court offices will not be open to serve the general public on a ‘walk-in’ basis.

2. Most court hearings will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Instructions can be found online at https://www.mijackson.org/2310/COVID-19-Courthouse-information and will be provided to all parties along with their notice or by calling the court. If you have an attorney and you are uncertain about whether you should appear in person or how to appear remotely, contact your attorney immediately.

3. Individuals will be allowed into the courthouse only under specific conditions. Unless you are noticed to appear in-person for a specific hearing or appointment with court staff, the general public will not be admitted into the courts’ facilities.

4. County Clerk services that will remain in-person are New Concealed Pistol License, Marriage Licenses and Notary Public

5. Everyone entering the courthouse will be required to complete a health screening and must wear a mask at all times while in the courthouse.

6. Many services at the courthouse can be conducted remotely.

“We’ve been evaluating and looking at those numbers and making decisions based on the safety for our staff and the safety for the community,” Deputy Court Administrator Geremy Burns.

Burns says it’s a little disheartening having to go back and limit the capacity when originally, they were trying to open things back up.

“We had the spike and resulted in almost this last two and a half weeks now. So, we have to abide by those guidelines, the state’s scale guidelines, require us to revert back to phase 2,” said Deputy Court Administrator Geremy Burns.

Burns explains exactly what needs to happen in order to move back to phase 3.

“For us to be able to go back to phase 3 we need to have a seven-day average of lower than 5% positivity rate and downward trajectory of new cases. We were at that for a lot of February,” said Deputy Court Administrator Burns.

Jackson County’s Interim Health Officer Debra Kubitsky says there’s a huge need for the vaccine. Once there’s enough for everyone who wants it to receive it, the numbers should go down.

“Supply is the big thing with the vaccine. We’ve got to get supply and then the quicker we can get everybody vaccinated. We’re not holding anybody back,” said Jackson Interim Health Officer Kubitskey.

Things like probation, paying fees, and even court hearings will be done virtually until cases go down. For more information on court operations, you can visit d12.Com.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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