On May 15, 2020, Presiding Judge Daniel Pelikan submitted a notice to the Missouri Supreme Court electing for the circuit to advance to Phase One of reopening effective May 16, 2020.
In Phase One, the Courts are not closed to public business, but the public is prohibited from entering the Courts except for a narrow range of exceptions authorized by the Supreme Court and the Presiding Judge.
This positive move reflects discussions with many government and judicial stakeholders who see the incidence of COVID-19 infections decreasing in St. Charles County.
In Phase One, the Court will operate with the following restrictions:
1. No in-person court matters will be conducted other than the current exceptions permitted in Phase Zero and the following most critical in-person proceedings: -Restraining Orders and Injunctions in the Family Court; -Termination of Parental Rights/Contested Adjudication hearings in the Juvenile Court; 4 -Treatment Court cases involving non-compliant participants, and; -Landlord/Tenant cases where possession is at issue and that comply with Section 4024 of Public law 116-136, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
2. Members of the public who are not involved in a court proceeding will not be permitted in the Courthouse.
3. Social distancing is required of court staff, attorneys, parties and witnesses.
4. Individuals will not be allowed access to a court facility who have been exposed to or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
5. The temperature of all individuals entering a court facility will be taken and those individuals with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more will not be allowed entry.
6. The use of masks or face coverings by attorneys, parties, witnesses, victims and courtroom staff is required.
7. Continue to use available technologies such as teleconferences and video hearings in all cases. Attorneys are encouraged to schedule motion hearings and other matters by telephone or video conference.
8. Jury trials will not be held.
9. Large venues and common areas such as break rooms are closed. Occupancy rates in courtrooms, jury assembly rooms, and other areas in the court facility are limited to a rate of 10 or less whenever possible.
10. Extra cleaning and disinfecting will occur throughout each day and hand sanitizer will be made available.
11. Only employees and staff are permitted in the secure areas of the Courthouse.
The Court will remain in Operating Phase One until May 30, 2020 at which time it will proceed to Phase TWO if local COVID-19 conditions remain the same or improve and the Presiding Judges certifies this condition to the Missouri Supreme Court. However, if consideration of the Gateway Criteria indicate local COVOD- I 9 conditions have deteriorated, the Court may remain in Phase One or return to Phase Zero pursuant to further order of the Presiding Judge.