The Calhoun County Courts, through Chief Judge Michael L. Jaconette, today announced additional restrictions within its courthouse due to public health concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak. Effective immediately, access to courtrooms and other spaces within the Calhoun County Justice Center, located in Battle Creek, is now limited to no more than 10 persons, including court staff. The courts are closed to the general public except for essential functions involving public health and safety and Constitutional rights.
To confront the unprecedented public health concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Supreme Court issued
Administrative Order 2020-2
, which highlights in specific detail the essential functions which will still be considered by Michigan courts during this crisis. This order supersedes for all Michigan trial courts any previously issued Local Administrative Orders regarding the crisis.
“While we had already taken similar action here in Calhoun County through a Local Administrative Order, the Supreme Court took this step in order to ensure that our courts give statewide consistency regarding identified essential services which will continue to be available to the public on an emergency basis during the COVID-19 crisis. The Supreme Court recognized that courts across Michigan should take these important steps in unison,” said Chief Judge Jaconette. “It sends a clear message to the public that the courts are considering every reasonable measure possible to reduce the spread of the virus while continuing to provide essential services. We are adjusting as quickly as possible to this crisis as we address the necessary balance to be struck between public health concerns and due process concerns in the courts. We appreciate the efforts of our counterparts at both the city and county levels, law enforcement agencies and community stakeholders, as well as the support and understanding of the public, as we work to adapt to these challenges in the coming days.”
Essential functions include arraignments for in-custody defendants, review and determination of requests for search warrants and personal protection orders, certain child protective proceedings, the review of emergency motions regarding child custody issues and other court activities specified in the administrative order. The new order also provides courts with additional flexibility to conduct business online and through the expanded use of technology such as video and telephone conferencing.
Hon. Michael L. Jaconette
Calhoun County Courts