The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued new mandates regarding court proceedings in the state. The new orders replace previously handed down rulings dealing with court during the coronavirus pandemic. The measures are effective Monday, November 30. The full text of the orders are available at mountainadvocate.com
Amended Order 2020-71 deals with health and safety requirements for court facilities, offices, and staff among others. Entrance to court facilities are limited to parties, attorneys, and other authorized persons such as those seeking protective orders. Masks are mandated by the order with courts obligated to provide them if a person is without. Signage advising the mask mandate and barring entry to those experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, such as fever and coughing, is to be posted outside of all relevant facilities.
The mandate makes clear that not being allowed into a facility does not constitute grounds for failure to meet payment of appearance obligations. A phone number or email will be provided so that arrangements to meet these obligations can be met, as well as for those unable to wear a face covering.
Members of the public may not enter a court facility with a non-transparent purse or other enclosed bag if the facility does not have an x-ray machine. Any items an individual need should be carried by hand or in an open container that allows visual inspection.
In-person court proceedings are only to be held for emergencies and time-sensitive matters such as domestic violence hearings and emergency custody hearings. Other than these special circumstances, courts are to continue telephone and video proceedings. Those in courtrooms are required to remain six-feet apart. The order is not meant to stay or delay any court proceedings.
Filings with Circuit Court Clerks’ Offices must be mailed, eFiled, or using a drop-box outside of the facility. Payments must be made over the phone or via mail, some may be made online at kycourts.gov. Driver’s Licenses that expire between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021 must be renewed via the remote application portal provided by the office of the Circuit Court Clerk.
Order 2020-72 goes farther with court proceedings and civil matters. Jury trials are postponed until February 1, 2021 and grand Jury proceedings are to occur remotely.
All actions involving residential and commercial evictions may proceed with appropriate forms although some involving the CARES Act must comply with certain additional requirements.