OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As national and state leaders encourage Americans to avoid large groups, local courtrooms are being encouraged to take precautions.
Recently, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an executive order to declare an emergency in all 77 Oklahoma counties amid the threat of COVID-19.
As a result, the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued a joint order to clarify procedures that should be followed in all Oklahoma district courts.
The order encourages social distancing to avoid risks to judges, court clerks, court employees, and the public.
On Monday, officials announced that all district courts in Oklahoma should immediately cancel all jury terms for the next 30 days and release jurors from service. Also, no additional jurors should be summoned without approval of the chief justice.
“Subject only to constitutional limitations, all deadlines and procedures whether prescribed by statute, rule or order in any civil, juvenile or criminal case, shall be suspended for 30 days from the date of this order. The suspension also applies to appellate rules and procedures for the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Civil Appeals,” the order states.
It also says that the statute of limitations should be extended for 30 days in any civil case.
Judges are also encouraged to reschedule all non-jury trial settings, hearings, and pretrial settings.
If court must continue, anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed to enter a courtroom.