The Riley County District Court is taking additional measures to prevent against the spread of the COVID-19.
Judge Grant Bannister issued an administrative order Monday for the courts which will remain open, but with limited services.
All jury trials scheduled through April 20, 2020 are continued pending further order from the court. Any juror receiving summons for trials from March 17 through April 20 do not need to report to the courthouse on the assigned date of the summons. Court Administrator DaLanna Nichols says it will create some challenges for the courts.
“We do have video conferencing capabilities. Those cases that can be heard by video conference, we will try to keep those scheduled. It is going to be a backlog for us and we’re going to have to take those cases that statutorily need to be heard first,” she said.
That will lead to delays on hearing some of those other court cases.
In addition, limited action, small claims, traffic, first appearance and Monday criminal dockets scheduled from March 17 through April 3 will be continued to a future date. This does not apply to first appearances scheduled by video.
Riley County residents planning a courthouse wedding are also being impacted. The court announced no new wedding ceremonies will be scheduled prior to April 3, 2020. This date also may be extended. Nichols says previously scheduled ceremonies will be limited to necessary parties and witnesses.
“If wee need to Skype or something like that, we’re certainly able to do that. Weather permitting, we can take them to the courtyard or somewhere else,” she said.
The goal is to keep the public out of the courthouse as much as possible. Normal court functions like paying court costs and fines will continue. Nichols says residents may also pay their dues via paykscourts.com.