On September 17, 2020, this Court ordered that the functions of the Circuit Court of Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson, Missouri were limited to Phase Zero operations as set out in the Supreme Court’s Operational Directive dated July 24, 2020. Now on this second day of October, 2020, this Court certified to the Missouri Supreme Court that conditions are appropriate to operate under Phase One of the Supreme Court’s Order and Operational Directives dated July 24, 2020.
Beginning October 5, 2020, the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson, Missouri will begin operations subject to the Phase One operational directives set out in this Administrative Order. These operational directives will remain in effect until further order of the Court.
Phase One operational directives must remain in effect until at least October 16, 2020 and they may be extended if the incidence of COVID-19 significantly increases above the current relatively low level. In the event of a dangerous increase in the incidence of COVID-19, the Court may revert to Phase Zero or order a complete closure of the Court.
In order to implement the currently applicable operational directives, it is ORDERED that this facility will be in compliance with the Supreme Court Phase One Operational Directives set out in that Court’s Order of July 24, 2020 and, specifically:
1. No person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to a person exhibiting those symptoms may enter this court facility.
2. Personnel will be positioned at every public entrance to turn away any person who is prohibited by this order from entering this facility.
3. Aside from court personnel, only litigants, witnesses, and attorneys will be admitted to the building. Family members and supporters must remain outside. If a litigant believes that he or she cannot proceed without support, the litigant should contact his or her attorney and request a continuance. The press will be admitted upon a reasonable request.
4. A maximum of ten people per public room is encouraged where possible. This number will not include court personnel in the courtrooms.
5. The use of face masks by litigants and staff is required. The Court has no masks to distribute.
6. Everyone will exercise social distancing. Tape markers will be placed at the courthouse entrances and within courtrooms where necessary to indicate a spacing of six feet. Seating in courtrooms will be designated at six-foot intervals.
7. Court personnel will work in shifts when possible and vulnerable court personnel will work from home.
8. All facilities will be cleaned as much as possible and everyone will practice good handwashing and protective hygiene.
9. All jury trials remain suspended through October 31, 2020 and this suspension may be extended thereafter.
10. Matters involving vulnerable individuals may be taken up by video conferencing where possible and, where that is not possible, continuances shall be granted liberally.
11. A copy of this order shall be posted at every public entrance to the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse.
12. All other facilities in the Thirty-second Circuit shall remain at Operating Phase Two except for the Cape Girardeau Municipal Division.