Message from Sheriff John Root: New guidelines for the Laurel County Judicial Center

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LONDON, KY - Laurel County Sheriff John Root is providing the following informational highlights press release regarding the Supreme Court of Kentucky guidelines authorizing the phased reopening of Kentucky's businesses and government offices regarding the Kentucky Court of Justice response to the Covid-19 emergency health and safety requirements for the expansion of court operations.

The following orders for health and safety measures will be implemented at the Laurel County Judicial Center beginning June 1, 2020:

1. Courts shall resume hearing civil and criminal matters using available telephonic and video technology to conduct all proceedings remotely. If a judge determines in his or her discretion that a matter requires in-person attendance, the following health and safety precautions must be followed

  • A. Courtroom attendance for the matter being heard must be limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, and other necessary persons as determined by the judge but in no event can attendance exceed 33% of the courtrooms occupancy capacity.
  • B. Individuals who fall into a high risk category must be allowed to participate remotely.

2. In-person services are strictly limited as follows.

  • A. Entrance to court facilities is limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, persons ordered by the judge to appear at in-person hearings, and individuals seeking emergency protective orders, interpersonal protective orders, and emergency custody orders.
  • B. All filings must be mailed, e-filed, or conventionally filed using a dropbox provided outside the judicial facility.
  • C. Payments for court costs, fines, fees, and restitution can be made by money order mailed to the circuit clerk's office or by cash or credit card by calling the local circuit clerk's office. Pre-payable citations can be mailed online through epay at kycourts.gov. 
  • D. Individuals posting bond should contact the local circuit clerk's office for further instruction.

3. Signage shall be posted outside of all entry points of all KCOJ Court facilities and offices advising the public and KCOJ officials and employees that they shall not enter or remain in the building unless they are wearing a protective facial covering such as a mask, scarf, bandanna, or other cloth which covers the nose and mouth.

If a member of the public seeks entry but does not have an appropriate facial covering and their business cannot be accomplished remotely, then a facial covering will be provided.

Further, individuals shall not enter the building if they have:

  • A. Experienced any symptoms of Covid-19, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.
  • B. Been asked to self quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency.
  • C. Been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the past 14 days or had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the past 14 days.

4. A member of the public who is not granted access to a court facility, courtroom, or court office is not relieved of his or her obligation to make payment or report to or appear before the court. He or she will be provided a phone number or email address and must make arrangements to reschedule, appear remotely, or otherwise complete his or her business to avoid possible adverse action being taken by the court.

5. Members of the public are prohibited from bringing purses or other similarly enclosed bags into court facilities, unless items in the bag are medically necessary.

Any items that are necessary for the individual's business before the court should be carried by hand or brought in an open container capable of visual inspection.

*Laurel Sheriff's Bailiffs and Court Security Officers will be available to assist with the new guidelines.*

 

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