Every business, school and judicial center is trying to mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus as they slowly begin to reopen their facilities amid COVID-19. The criminal court system here in Minnesota is no different, as judges and juries are trying to catch up on the backlog of cases and give people their rightful day in court. But how are Minnesota courts working to do that in a safe manner? We look at the rules the Minnesota Judicial Branch has put in place for resuming courtroom activities.
Criminal Court During COVID-19
Here’s a look at some of the rules and regulations that are laid out on the MJB’s website in regards to how criminal cases will proceed during the reopening phase:
- No person with symptoms within the last 14 days should show up to the courthouse.
- No person who has had direct contact with a confirmed positive case within the last 14 days should show up to the courthouse.
- If you are required to visit court but can’t meet the above stipulations, bring it up to your lawyer as soon as possible.
- Face coverings must be worn in all court facilities as of July 13.
- Judicial officers may allow face coverings to be removed during part of a court proceeding.
- Courthouse attendees are asked to maintain six feet of social distance and observe markings on the floor about safe spacing.
- Appropriate disinfecting and cleaning is taking place, with enhanced sanitation if a a positive case is uncovered.
- Courts may limit attendance to adhere to social distancing rules, and they are asking that only immediate family consider attending court and only if absolutely necessary.
The Minnesota Judicial Branch has also listed reopening recommendations for courts that will require a jury pool. They are similar to the above stipulations, but they have a few different rules that will be important if you are called for jury duty during this time. To learn more about these regulations, click here.
We know this is a bit of a hectic time, but we’re here to help you with any aspect of your criminal proceeding. If you need legal assistance or have questions about your case, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.