Christian County court employee tests positive for COVID-19, Justice Center goes back to Phase 1

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OZARK, Mo. – The Christian County Justice Center will revert to Phase 1 due to a court employee testing positive for COVID-19.

According to a press release from the Circuit Court of Christian County, the Presiding Judge learned that a staff member had tested positive over the weekend. The judge then ordered the building to operate at Phase 1 for 14 days or until further notice.

Phase 1 means all in-person proceedings in the Justice Center are suspended except:

  • Proceedings necessary to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a speedy trial, and the rights afforded under section 544.676.3
  • Proceedings pursuant to chapters 210 and 211 pertaining to juvenile delinquency and abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights
  • Proceedings pursuant to chapter 453 pertaining to adoption
  • Proceedings pursuant to chapter 455 pertaining to orders of protection
  • Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders
  • Proceedings related to petitions for temporary restraining orders or other forms of temporary injunctive relief
  • Proceedings related to emergency mental health orders
  • Proceedings pursuant to chapter 475 for emergency guardianship or conservatorship
  • Proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Oral arguments regarding time-sensitive matters
  • Other exceptions approved by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Proceedings determined by the judge presiding over the case to be most critical.

The court says a notice will be filed in all cases that have to be rescheduled.

Phase 1 also means:

  • Members of the public who are not involved in a court proceeding will not be allowed in the Justice Center
  • The Justice Center will continue operating under social distancing and masking protocols
  • Individuals will continue to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the center
  • Only the most critical in-person proceedings will be held, with a ten-person or less occupancy in the courtroom
  • Teleconferences and video hearings will be used when needed
  • Large venues and common areas will be closed
  • Extra cleaning and disinfecting will occur

This order does not cover municipal courts, and the Circuit Court Building will continue to operate in its current phase.

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