Press Release from Johnson County Courts Concerning Criminal Cases et. al.
MODIFIED SCHEDULING TO REDUCE COURTHOUSE
TRAFFIC DURING THIS TEMPORARY PANDEMIC PERIOD
Today, Chief Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan addressed precautions taken for COVID-19 by issuing Administrative Order 20-02.
As it performs essential functions, the 10th Judicial District Court in Johnson County REMAINS OPEN. The risk level in our district is escalating with four confirmed cases. Health care professionals advise that we should all minimize contact to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The District Court intends to take the following reasonable measures toward that end:
ALL JURY TRIALS ARE CANCELLED UNTIL MAY 4, 2020. CANCELLED JURY TRIALS WILL BE RESHEDULED AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE.
Contact the assigned Division’s staff for specific instructions.
PROCEDURES BY DEPARTMENT or DOCKET TYPE
CRIMINAL – Divisions 3, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, and M-3
All scheduled bench trials, preliminary hearings, motions, sentencings, status, pretrial and scheduling conferences will be heard or continued on a case by case basis, with continuances being granted liberally and with appearances by video or phone being used whenever possible. Attorneys who wish to have their out-of-custody clients appear by phone should have their clients available by phone and be ready to contact their client when their case is called through the attorney’s cell phone.
To the extent technology will allow, and at the discretion of the assigned judge, in custody defendants may appear by telephone or video for scheduling dockets. Other substantive hearings may require a personal appearance by the defendant unless otherwise waived, and at the discretion of the assigned judge.
TRAFFIC – Division M-2
Cases are being continued 30 days from their present court dates for ALL non-trial matters. Trials will be continued to the next closest convenient date after 30 days. Any questions, contact the Traffic Clerk or Division M-2.
SMALL CLAIMS – Division M-2
Cases are continued 30 days from their present settings. Any questions, contact Small Claims Clerk or Division M-2.
PROTECTION FROM ABUSE/STALKING (non-Family cases) – Division M-2
As scheduled. New cases will be spread out with no more than 3 per docket and on all days available.
CIVIL – Divisions 2, 4, 6, 7, and 11
For any civil case hearings currently scheduled to occur within the next 30 days, counsel should contact the Administrative Assistant of the Division in which the matter is pending before coming to Court to determine whether the matter will proceed as scheduled, or be heard via telephone or video conferencing, or be rescheduled as determined by the Court.
LIMITED ACTIONS – Division M-4
[Due to its length and multiple applications for that docket procedures will be in a separate listserv notification for the Chapter 61 cases and Division M-4 only.]
FAMILY – Divisions 1, 5, 9, 14, and 16
Effective immediately for all Family Court cases in Johnson County:
- Statutorily required hearings will continue to be conducted in person at the Johnson County Courthouse. Protection from abuse or stalking cases will continue to be conducted in person.
- Any dockets with multiple cases will be continued. You will be notified of the new hearing date by each Division.
- Whenever possible, other hearings will be conducted remotely, how and if considered on a case-by-case basis. You will be contacted by the assigned division with specifics regarding your case.
- Please contact your division with questions.
JUVENILE – Divisions 10, 12, and M-1
All scheduled bench trials, motions, sentencings, status, pretrial and scheduling conferences will be heard or continued on a case by case basis, with continuances being granted liberally and with appearances by video or phone being used whenever possible. Attorneys who wish to have their out-of-custody clients appear by phone should have their clients available by phone and be ready to contact their client when their case is called.
In custody Respondents shall appear by video for all hearings unless the Court orders otherwise. Substantive hearings may require a personal appearance by the respondent unless otherwise waived, and at the discretion of the assigned judge.
MOST juvenile offender cases in Division 10 are not being continued.
CINC – Divisions 10 and 16
For the next 30 days (March 16-April 10):
Most (not all) CINC court hearings will be continued. You will be notified of the new court date.
Bench trials will continue to be conducted in person, although they may be rescheduled.
Statutorily required hearings, such as temporary custody hearings, will be conducted in person. Permanency hearings will be done by paper, and a future review hearing date will be provided.
Counsel desiring an emergency review hearing shall request same through the Court and AA.
Whenever possible, hearings may be conducted remotely, but will be considered as to how and if this can occur on a case by case basis. You will be contacted by the assigned Division with specifics regarding your case if a hearing will be conducted remotely.
Please contact your Division with any other questions.
PROBATE – Division 15
Effective March 14, 2020 through May 1, 2020, for all PR, GC, AD and CV cases pending in Division 15, all hearings that are anticipated not to be disputed shall be heard via non-appearance. Counsel may request a hearing via conference call or video conference when necessary. Exception: For all CV cases set for an evidentiary hearing before May 1, 2020, the evidentiary hearing will continue to take place in court.
We will update as the situation changes. You should also check with the assigned Division on your case(s) for updates. Please help us disseminate this information. Opposing parties please consult together. Attorneys who are representing clients against self-represented litigants, please communicate with those parties.
Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we all work together.