Court system cuts calendars during pandemic

    The Dimond Court House in Juneau.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - All jury trials and grand jury proceedings have been postponed for the time being due to COVID-19.

    The courts basically eliminated most hearings unless they are considered a priority or are an emergency.

    Superior Court Judge Amy Mead said the court calendars will be dramatically reduced until June 1.

    A general order from the Alaska Supreme Court ordered the courts to suspend all Superior Court and District Court other than a specified list of priority cases.

    They have also reduced foot traffic into the Dimond Court House.  You can also file new cases online.

    Bail can be paid through a credit card.

    The clerk of the court's office is closed each day from noon to 1 p.m.

    Mead said the court staff is allowed to spread out all over the building to keep them safe.

    "The level of cooperation and patience has been extraordinary.  I see people acting with understanding and compassion every day," Judge Mead added.

    The statewide bail schedule was amended to allow more people to be released on their own recognizance.

    There is a concern about a large backlog of cases once the court reopens.

    "It will be difficult for the court to catch up.  We are trying to put a lot of thought into how we are going to start back up.  People should expect cases to be delayed especially civil cases that often time take a back seat to criminal cases.  Some cases will take longer," she added.

    Many of the hearings are held on video and or telephone.

    In Juneau, residents can call into a public access phone number and listen in or participate in hearings.

    The phone number is 1-800-768-2983 (toll free).

    There is more information on the Juneau Court website, https://courts.alaska.gov/covid19/index.htm#1ju


    Audio from Superior Court Judge Amy Mead.

     

     

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