As you all are aware, the unprecedented situation with the COVID 19 virus has impacted virtually all aspects of our society, including the courts. Court administration has been in frequent contact with the State Court Administrator’s Office, Calhoun County administration, the Calhoun County Health Department, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department and others about this situation. Further, the Chief Justice has issued directions to the trial courts as it relates to striking a balance between the need for continued access to justice through our courts and the health and safety needs of those involved in the justice system as a whole, including the families of all involved.
As it relates to attorneys working with, or individuals who frequently have business working in, our court system, everyone should understand that if you are sick or if you believe that you have been exposed to the virus, you should not come to the Justice Center but instead should stay home or if necessary seek medical attention. If you are staying home due to sickness and you have a scheduled court event, please immediately contact the court or specific judicial office to inform them of the reason for your absence. During the Governor's declared State of Emergency, judges have been instructed to be particularly mindful of the need for sick attorneys, litigants and members of the public to stay home to reduce the potential spread of the virus.
Lastly, as we all have seen with the speed in which so many events and activities across all walks of life have been cancelled or suspended nationwide, this is an extremely fluid situation. While the judges, referees and magistrates are all conducting a fairly normal hearing schedule at this point, that could change very rapidly. As it currently stands, there is not a blanket adjournment of all jury trials in Calhoun County. Instead, we are following the Chief Justice's recommendation that all civil jury trials will be adjourned and most criminal jury trials will be adjourned unless the defendant is in custody or there have been other long delays. Unless there is a change in this regard, individual judges have the discretion to determine whether to bring in a jury panel for criminal cases falling under the above parameters. But as indicated above, even this is subject to change, which could occur in short order. Notices of any significant changes to court scheduling or regarding court closures will be posted on the county's court website,
Hon. Michael L. Jaconette
Calhoun County Courts
Notices for Monday, March 16, 2020:
Any motion or pro confesso hearing scheduled to be heard by Judge Brian K. Kirkham on either Monday, March 16 or Monday, March 30, 2020 is cancelled.
This includes all domestic relations motions as well as motions in other civil cases.
Any new motions in any case assigned to Judge Kirkham should be scheduled for a hearing on Monday, April 6, 2020 or after. In the event an emergency hearing is sought by a party, pleadings should be filed with the court and a Judge’s copy must delivered directly to Judge Kirkham’s court. The pleadings will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if an emergency hearing is warranted, and the court will proceed accordingly.
Additionally, all Landlord/Tenant Cases (hearings for non-payment/termination of tenancy) scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020 are adjourned for a minimum of 28 days. New notice will be sent to all parties.
All Small Claims cases scheduled between March 16 and April 3, 2020 will be rescheduled by the Court.