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.