Following suit with the Kansas City Courthouse, the Liberty Municipal Court announced that starting June 1, new rules will be going into effect. These rules are intended to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure for courthouse employees and visitors.
Courts have been under a great deal of pressure to open and resume normal operations, but many have elected to establish their own protocols and policies for reopening, believing that although the state has resumed normal operations, the risk of disease has not actually reduced sufficiently to avoid a real risk.
As courts bring together people from a relatively wide geographic area, and appearances are compulsory (meaning that parties cannot stay home and miss their court date if they are not feeling well), they could easily become hotspots for the virus. For this reason, they are lagging behind the rest of the state and taking their time to re-open in order to protect the public. In the interim, courts continue to operate at a reduced capacity by using remote video software.
An Overview of the New Rules:
You must have court-related business to be permitted entry.
You must enter via the Kansas Street Entrance unless you have a disability which would prevent you from doing so.
You will be instructed to wait outside until called to check in with a Court Administrator—they will then direct you to either go to the courtroom or a waiting area. Both of these areas have occupancy limitations; a maximum of 15 people in the courtroom, and 25 in the waiting area, not including court personnel. All others will be asked to wait outside.
Social distancing of six feet between people will be maintained in the waiting area and throughout all areas of the courthouse.
Everyone entering the courthouse must wear a mask. Masks will be provided if needed.
Thursday evening and Friday morning court sessions will be open only to individuals with an actual need to be there.
Individuals meeting the following criteria will not be allowed to enter the courthouse, regardless of whether they have a need to be there:
Individuals experiencing or exhibiting any signs consistent with COVID-19, such as coughing, fever, or shortness of breath;
Individuals under self-quarantine;
Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (either with a positive test result of a presumptive positive determination by a medical professional or health care agency) or live with someone who has been diagnosed;
Exceptions: Individuals meeting the above criteria may still be permitted to enter the courthouse if it has been at least 10 days since the symptoms began, the symptoms have improved, the individual has not had a fever for at least three full days without the aid of medications, and thee individual wears a face mask for the length of their visit.
If you have an upcoming court date and believe you will not be permitted entry based on these criteria, contact your attorney or the Court Administrator at least 72 hours before your scheduled court date. The Court administrator can be reached at 816-439-4432.
Some Additional Information for Attorneys about Liberty Municipal Court:
Plea dockets for Friday court dates will be available starting at 8:15 am, and for Friday court dates starting at 6:00 p.m.
Meetings with the City Prosecutor will take place in the Police Administration Conference room. Please note that social distancing must be followed while waiting in the hall.
Attorneys are encouraged to waive client appearances if they are ill, meet the above outlined criteria, or when otherwise appropriate.
Contact a Speeding Ticket Lawyer
If you have gotten a speeding ticket or traffic violation in Kansas City, or have questions about how these new rules could impact your case, contact Aimee the Attorney for a free consultation today.