On March 16, 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an Order allowing local trial courts to petition the Indiana Supreme Court requesting emergency measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Order does not require local courts to request any of the emergency measures allowed. Instead, the Order provides guidance on measures to consider and allows trial courts to consider local needs when determining what emergency measures to implement.
The Indiana State Bar Association website provides a helpful list of the counties that have requested relief and includes a link to each county’s petition that includes the type of relief requested.
An Order grating emergency relief has been issued in Monroe County. Some of the key points of the Order authorize Monroe County is authorized to do the following:
• Suspend all criminal and civil jury trials though May 4, 2020;
• Allow parties to appear remotely via Court Call or conference call;
• Permit attorneys to appear remotely;
• Set/reset hearings in Child In Need of Service and Termination of Parental Rights cases outside of statutory time frames and allow videoconferencing for all fact-finding and termination hearings where either parent is in jail;
• Continue all matters deemed non-essential;
Essential hearings will be determined on a case-by-case basis but generally include criminal initial hearings, bail review hearings, juvenile detention hearings, and protective orders. Unless your hearing is a true emergency, it will likely be continued to a later date.
Monroe County Courts have not announced an official closure. We will still continue to file documents with the Court with the understanding that any associated hearings will not be set unless an emergency situation arises.
Additionally an Order for emergency relief has been issued in Lawrence County and in Morgan County. Although other surrounding counties have not yet petitioned for relief, many are canceling upcoming trials and hearings.
The governor has also announced that no eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions may be initiated during the public health emergency.
If you are a current client and have an upcoming hearing, our staff will be contacting you to let you know the status of your hearing.
In the event of an office closure, we are prepared to work remotely, so please communicate with anyone at the office as you normally would. We are ready to help during these uncertain times and will be available to answer any of your questions or concerns.