St. James Municipal Court will be held this month after having been suspended in March due to COVID-19. Plans are to hold court on June 17 at the Nelson Hart Community Building to allow for social distancing.
“It will be exciting. There is like 125 on the docket, because we haven’t had court in three months,” City Administrator Jim Fleming said.
The city will be taking precautions to ensure public safety and will be enforcing social-distancing guidelines by limiting the number of people allowed in the courtroom, keeping those waiting separated, and providing personal protection equipment to those in attendance.
“How that will work is, right now, they are at phase two, which means you can have 25 people in the courtroom total. It has no bearing on the size of the square footage,” Fleming explained. “Everyone has to be six feet apart. We will supply disposable masks.”
Citizens attending court will be asked to sanitize as they enter the facility as well. Fleming said the masks are on order, but have not shipped yet, but he anticipates the city will be prepared for court night.
“Only the defendant will be allowed in the courtroom. Kids, spouses, they can’t be there,” Fleming said. “And, the police will make up numbers and will put them on your car and then they will come get you when there is space inside. Folks will need to be prepared to sit in their cars.”
Information about court night will be posted on the city’s Facebook page, outlining the procedures citizens can expect for the evening. Information will also be posted at the Community Hall and city hall as well about procedures to be expected. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding municipal court is encouraged to contact the city at 573-265-7013.