CLEVELAND — The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas announced Friday that starting Monday, June 1, more in-person hearings will be allowed to take place at both the county and municipal court.
According to the court, the hearings will be allowed if “deemed necessary.”
Cleveland Municipal Housing Court is set open two weeks later on Monday, June 15.
The court said hearings will still be held by video conference or phone where possible. Trials are not expected to resume until August.
“While Cleveland Municipal Court is allowing more hearings to go forward, it is still the court’s desire to minimize the number of people who need to come to the Justice Center by offering not guilty and guilty waivers for arraignments and phone and videoconferencing for all pretrial,” Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative Judge Michelle Earley said.
Anyone entering the Justice Center must wear a face mask. Anyone who shows up without one will be provided with a mask.
Visitors will need to enter through the doors off of Ontario Street, and as a precaution they will have their temperature taken. Visitors must also wear a wrist band that will show that they have been given access to the building.
Elevators will be limited to only two people at a time and the floors have markings on where to stand. Anyone whose destination is on the second to fourth floor will need to use an escalator in lieu of an elevator. There will be a separate elevator for attorneys to use.
Individuals going above the first floor will be required to sign in for contact tracing purposes if deemed necessary.
Additionally, the cafeteria on the fourth floor will remain closed. Restrooms have been limited to one person at a time.
The court said it encourages parents to have their children wait outside with another caregiver since children will not be permitted on the courtroom floors.
There will also be a limit of 15 people per courtroom. The number does not include the courtroom, municipal or county staff.
“The court understands that these new restrictions may result in delays and potential discomfort, but the volume of traffic in the building dictates that we require the use of face coverings and social distancing protocols,” said Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge Brendan Sheehan. “We are doing everything possible to make sure that people who are required to be in the building have as much protection from COVID-19 as possible.”
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