Monroe County court system updates protocols after entering orange zone

MONROE COUNTY, N.Y. (WROC) — The court system in our area has slightly curtailed itsoperating protocols because of a spike in COVID cases and an orange zone designation. The 7th Judicial District Administrative Judge Craig Doran said the courts will remain open, but only to a certain extent.

“We are engaged in a constant process to balance the need for access to our courts, with the need to keep people safe. We are not closing our courts,” said Doran. “The court clerk’s offices in all of our counties will remain open for the filing of essential documents that folks believe need to be filed.”

Some of the new changes include limiting the capacity in a courtroom to ten people, and the court will not summon trial and grand jurors until further notice. Judge Doran said grand juries that are already impaneled and had already been working may continue to work through the end of their term.

Additionally, virtual court appearances will continue unless the presiding judge finds that it is unlawful or impractical to conduct the proceeding virtually. According to Doran, another exception is any proceeding involving a self-represented litigant where the presiding judge determines that holding a virtual proceeding denies the self-represented litigant meaningful access to the proceeding.

“Any jury trial that was underway at the initiation of that policy was permitted to continue. Now in the 7th district, there are no jury trials that are continuing. There won’t be any starting in the next several weeks until we can reassess the incident of the virus in our region,” said Doran.

Judge Doran said the courts are in better shape now than before because the experience they went through at the start of the pandemic shutdown. Individuals with court-related questions are encouraged to call his/her designated county courthouse.

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