ALBANY (NEWS 10) – Starting July 9, Capital District courts, as well as courts in the White Plains and surrounding counties, will resume in-person operations.
The Third Judicial District and the Ninth Judicial District will begin Phase Four of their phased reopening plan. On June 10 Nassau and Suffolk counties, (The Tenth Judicial District) will join in Phase Four.
The Phase four in-person operations will include the following:
- Child support proceedings and child permanency hearings
- Plea and sentencing proceedings for defendants at liberty
- Preliminary hearings in criminal cases for defendants being held in jail on felony complaints
- Superior civil court appearances where at least one party is self-represented
- Arraignments of defendants issued desk appearance tickets
- A limited number of bench trials in civil matters
Judges will continue their use of virtual proceeding whenever it is legally and logistically possible. The matters that will be held virtually are considered non-essential they include the following:
- Criminal proceedings
- Juvenile delinquency proceedings
- Eviction matters
- Mental hygiene law proceedings
Courts will use their space to effectively making sue there will be enough room to properly socially distance. Court appearances will be staggered to limit the number of people in the courthouse at one time.
The measures in place to protect the health of Judges and other staff include the following:
- Court visitors will be required to undergo COVID-19 screening, including temperature checks, before entering the courthouse.
- Anyone entering the courthouse will be required to wear a mask.
- All staff who interact with court visitors must wear a mask.
- Courthouse areas will be carefully marked to ensure proper physical distancing.
- Court facilities will be regularly sanitized.
- Installation of acrylic barriers, hand sanitizer dispensers and other safety features in courthouse areas as needed.
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