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Edmonds Municipal Court resumes with remote hearings

 
Series: Coronavirus | Story 206

Last updated 5/21/2020 at 9:57am



All court hearings have returned to Edmonds Municipal Court – remotely. In the court's continuing effort to balance public health safety and protect constitutional rights and due process, defendants and respondents, who have received an infraction, will once again have their day in court.

This time, however, it will be by joining court either online or telephonically.

In compliance with the revised Washington State Supreme Court order, Edmonds has started rescheduling hearings that were previously given a lengthy continuance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notices are sent to defense attorneys who are responsible to notify their clients. If someone is unrepresented, the court will send them a notice. Anyone who has a question about their case can call the court to find out the status of their hearing.

The remote hearings will be live-streamed. A link to the live-stream is on the court's website.

The court is not holding any in-person hearings unless it must be held in-person in the interest of justice. However, effective May 20, everyone who physically comes to the courthouse must use hand sanitizer prior to entering the courtroom, will be screened by court security for a fever with a touchless thermometer, and must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth.

The court will not be providing masks unless the defendant is indigent and does not already have a mask. While in the courtroom, masks must be worn unless speaking as part of a specific hearing while 6 feet apart from others.

The court also may ask defendants to briefly remove masks for identification purposes. Attendees also must be seated 6 feet apart.

Anyone who meets the following CDC's high-risk group of people can appear remotely, but should not be physically coming to the courthouse: those 65 and older; living in a nursing home or long-term care facility; or being immune-compromised or having underlying medical conditions (including chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity (body mass index of 40 or higher), diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease.

Although the front clerk's counter will continue to be closed to the public, the public can still communicate with the court via email, fax, phone or through its drop box outside the courthouse.

When Gov. Jay Inslee declares the state is in its second phase of reopening, the court will open the front clerk's window, but the court's health safeguard requirements will remain.

The court's First Revised Administrative Order No. 23-A is posted on the court's website.

Linda Coburn is Edmonds Municipal Court judge.

 

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