TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Tippecanoe County Courthouse is increasing its COVID-19 restrictions as cases continue to rise.
These operational changes will continue until July 1, 2021:
- The operational changes include all courts maximizing the use of remote proceedings when it is practical to do so.
- It will also require all people entering the Tippecanoe County Courthouse to wear a mask. If a person cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, they will be required to wear a face shield. Judges can permit the removal of masks in the courtroom or court offices when social distancing is maintained or for a good cause.
- Courthouse office personnel may restrict entry to the threshold of the office.
- Everyone must maintain six feet of social distance in common areas.
- Courts will continue to use COVID-19 jury questionnaires.
Guidelines that will be in place until January 31 2021 are:
- all people entering the courthouse will be screened for COVD-19 symptoms.
- The Bailiffs can deny entry if a person is showing symptoms or doesn’t have a facemask or they are in a large group of people.
- Only people with official courthouse business will be allowed inside.
- Judges will be allowed to limit in-court spectators subject to constitutional limitations.
- Parties that want to attend should seek pre-approval for attendance of persons other than attorneys, parties, witnesses, or other participants by law.
- A judge may Livestream non-confidential proceedings to allow additional spectators.
- The Tippecanoe County Sheriffs Office may allow or exclude spectators from the jail courtroom gallery if they chose.
- Writs of attachment in civil cases, including Title IV-D cases, will not be served.
- Bench warrants of misdemeanor cases for failure to appear issued by Tippecanoe Superior Courts No. 4,5, 6, and 7, except for crimes of violence, invasion of privacy, and operating while intoxicated will not be served. Instead, law enforcement will obtain a valid address, assign a new court date, and inform the court.
- Civil jury trials are suspended and judges may reschedule non-essential hearings.
- Faith Graham the Judge for Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 says these changes are to keep as many unnecessary people out of the building as possible.
Only people who are parties to a case who are attorneys for the case who are subpoenaed witnesses to the case or those with other official court businesses would be permitted into the courthouse in the courtrooms,” said Judge Graham.
For more details on the changes click here. These changes go into effect on November 19th.