Chief Justice Order No 2 as of 3.20.20

The order Chief Justice Gildea signed today takes effect Monday, March 23, 2020. Among other provisions, the order:

·       Suspends most in-person district court proceedings for the next 30 days. Exceptions include jury trials that have already commenced; grand jury proceedings in which the grand jury is currently taking evidence; and a specific list of adult criminal, juvenile delinquency, juvenile protection, and emergency matters that should continue to be heard in the courtroom during this time. (see Section B, paragraphs 4-10 of the order for more information)

·       Allows district courts to conduct other case processes using remote technology, or by review of the parties’ submissions without oral argument, to the extent feasible and practicable. (Section B, paragraph 11)

·       Limits public access to court facilities and courtrooms to parties, attorneys, and any necessary court staff. Representatives of the media may be permitted to attend hearings but will be required to submit a request to the Court Information Office or the Hennepin County District Court Information officer at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing (unless this requirement is waived by the court). (Section C, paragraph 14)

·       Directs that the clerk’s counter in court facilities and self-help services will be limited to electronic and telephone services until further order. The order also closes public access to the State Law Library. (Section C, paragraph 12)

·       Requires that filings and submissions in pending court cases must be made electronically, or by email, mail, or by other means provided by court administration (such as a drop box designated for court filings). Other than at facilities in which access is necessary to access a drop-box or other available filing means, the parties and the public will not be permitted access to a court facility to submit documents for filing. (Section B, paragraph 13)

·       Directs that courtrooms and court buildings that have access to virtual courtroom technology shall use and deploy that technology as directed by the presiding judge.  Court staff shall continue to process cases and case filings, working remotely if feasible and approved by court administration.  (Section B, paragraph 15)

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