In-person court proceedings to resume following Supreme Court of Kentucky administrative order

A majority of the COVID-19 restrictions followed by the state court system are being lifted.
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 2:39 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – A majority of the COVID-19 restrictions followed by the state court system are being lifted.

The changes were released Tuesday, after the Supreme Court of Kentucky entered two administrative orders, and include a return to in-person court proceedings and eliminates mask requirements for fully vaccinated people.

The following changes were made, effective immediately:

Administrative Order 2021-16, Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Health and Safety Requirements

  • Allows in-person access to court facilities for any individual with business before the courts, except those who have symptoms of, have tested positive for, or have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Eliminates the mask requirement for fully vaccinated members of the public entering court facilities and fully vaccinated KCOJ elected officials and employees.
  • Strongly encourages continued use of masks by members of the public and KCOJ elected officials and employees who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Permits judges to require individuals in their courtrooms to wear masks and gives appointing authorities the ability to require the employees they supervise to wear masks in a specific office, courtroom or department.
  • Encourages the continued use of remote technology for court proceedings and allows any individual with a scheduled remote hearing to appear remotely.
  • Allows judges to conduct in-person court proceedings.
  • Allows filings and payments to be made in-person at the local Office of Circuit Court Clerk.

Supreme Court Order 2021-17, Response to COVID-19 Emergency: Court Proceedings

  • Lifts most restrictions on jury trials but requires continuances, postponements and recusals for attorneys, parties and jurors who are ill or at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Allows master commissioners to conduct judicial sales remotely or in person with no limitations.
  • Retains the July 1, 2021, start date for show cause dockets for payments of fines and court costs.
  • Suspends night traffic courts in Jefferson County until further notice.

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