Cass County Courts suspends jury trials, in person hearings due to COVID-19

CASSOPOLIS — Chief Judge Susan L. Dobrich announced Monday that the Cass County Courts have suspended jury trials through 2020 and in-person hearings have been suspended until further notice as a result of climbing COVID-19 cases in this region.

Since this pandemic began more than eight months ago, the Cass County Courts have done a great job of providing access to justice by continuing Court operations through increased reliance on technology, Dobrich said.

The Cass County Courts have continued hosting most hearings via Zoom with some in-person hearings. Jury trials have not been hosted because of the large number of people required to be present.

The public and the press have been provided with access to safely watch Zoom hearings using YouTube, where court hearings can be live streamed. The public and attorneys are also able to file new actions and court pleadings by email or regular U.S. mail, which provides a safer alternative to in-person filing. The Cass County Courts are up to date with cases except for jury trials, Dobrich said.

“The courts have worked very closely with our county administrator, other county elected officials, the local health department, and the state court administrative office to make decisions about court operations balancing access to justice against safety considerations in light of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases,” she said. “As numbers have spiraled upwards, it became clear that in-person proceedings cannot safely happen at this time.”

Visit the Cass County Courts’ website for updates and specific contact information for each of the Courts at casscourtsmi.org.

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