Closing not an option for the court system


By Bethany J. Royer-DeLong - DarkeCountyMedia.com



DARKE COUNTY — County court functions will remain open during this challenging time regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), said Jonathan P. Hein with Darke County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday.

“Closing is not an option,” continued Judge Hein, explaining how courthouse staff was split in half last week to reduce the likelihood of everyone getting sick at once.

Other county courts are making similar adjustments with constant monitoring of the COVID-19 virus, its impact on the community, and efforts being made to ensure court access continues. All while following the guidance from the Ohio Supreme Court during these unprecedented times.

While no one solution will be appropriate for every court, there are several options each court can consider. Currently, the Darke County court staff has been hard at work implementing video conferences to handle hearings and appearances on schedule.

While some delays are anticipated, Judge Hein expects relative efficiency with as many remote appearances as possible. However, those cases that require a full trial will proceed as usual on a case by case basis.

Judge Hein noted more daily cleaning of surfaces, handles, and the like within the courthouse, along with hand sanitizers on public counters. Those who are ill will be turned away with the public encouraged to call offices to check for availability. A list of county office numbers is available on the county website at darkecountycommonpleas.com/county-contact-information.

Those with questions or concerns regarding court access and pending appearances may contact the Darke County Court of Common Pleas at (937) 547-7325.

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By Bethany J. Royer-DeLong

DarkeCountyMedia.com

Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email broyer-delong@aimmediamidwest.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.

Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email broyer-delong@aimmediamidwest.com. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.