COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The courts will remain open, but the 13th Judicial Circuit is placing more stringent limits on who can come inside the courthouse as local officials issue a COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
Presiding Judge Kevin Crane issued an order Tuesday limiting access to courthouses in Boone and Callaway counties after Boone County and Columbia leaders adopted the order.
Crane said the courthouse will no longer be open to the general public -- only court employees, those identified by a court officer as having businesses inside and contractors and delivery workers will be allowed inside.
Courts Administrator Mary Epping said that in Callaway County, access to county offices inside the courthouse will be decided by the county commission. The county last week limited public access to county offices in the courthouse.
The order suspends jury activities until after April 24 and orders court officials to conduct as many hearings by video and teleconference as possible.
All municipal courts in the circuit are subject to the order, as well.
Crane issued an order Monday ending evictions and limiting other court businesses, as well. Crane had suspended some in-person court hearings on March 16 through April 17 because of concerns over the spread of COVID-19, following the Supreme Court of Missouri's guidance that same day.