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Some court cases on hold in Christian County due to pandemic

The Associate Circuit Divisions 3 and 4 will be impacted by this order.
Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 9:25 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The COVID-19 virus is changing how a local court system operates, starting Monday.

Christian County joins many others around the area in limiting operations and which cases will be heard.

This is after a person who works at the justice center tested positive for the virus two days ago.

Presiding Judge Laura Johnson issued an administrative order. Effective immediately, cases in Christian County will be handled differently.

“We can make it all work but it just becomes a bit more challenging,” she explained.

Cases are heard in two different locations in the County, the circuit court and the justice center.

Only some cases will be on hold for 14 to 28 days because of the virus.

“Our misdemeanor criminal cases, small claims, landlord-tenant, a lot of our family law cases, those are going to be the ones impacted by this order,” said Johnson.

Those with pending cases during this time will receive a notice.

Additionally, signs will be posted daily as a reminder of how the docket will proceed.

“We would never penalize someone who missed a hearing because they did not receive notice,” she said.

However, there are some exceptions.

“We have certain cases that have an immediate need. Those will always receive in person hearings; our in-custody defendants, orders of protection, our juvenile matters,” explained Johnson.

She says the change is temporary at this time.

“We are kind of navigating uncharted waters here. This is a new situation for us, having two different facilities in two different phases,” she said. “The important thing is we want to keep the court open. We want everyone to be able to have their case heard. We’re very serious about that.”

The Associate Circuit Divisions 3 and 4 will be impacted by this order.

Those are cases heard in the courtrooms of Judges Bacon and Kruse.

If you have any court business and have not received a notice or have any questions call the Christian County Circuit Clerk.

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