Judge Lee Wisdom Harrod, the Administrative Judge for the 16th Judicial District, has issued an order, passing it on from the Arkansas Supreme Court, concerning court operations in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping in mind the safety issues that will need to be addressed for all concerned, the judge said the court will still continue to operate. Harrod said the order applies to all Circuit and District Courts operating in the district.
The circuit courts of Judge Holly Meyer Judge Don McSpadden, Judge Harrod, Judge Tim Weaver.
And the district courts of:
- Judge Chaney Taylor in Independence County
- Judge Lance Wright in Cleburne County
- Judge David Miller in Izard County
- Judge Larry Kissee in Fulton County
- Judge Jake Newton in Stone County
- And as part of the court’s geographic area line in Fulton County, Judge Mark Johnson in Sharp County.
Judge Harrod said all of these courts in the 16th Judicial District will remain open, and all in-person proceedings of all courts will be suspended to protect the public.
He noted the hearings will be held by video conferencing using the teleconferencing application resume. He said all courts in the district currently have the capability to conduct court through Zoom. Zoom is a free app that allows participants to appear by video, utilizing their computer or cell phone camera, microphone, and speakers.
Harrod noted each court will separately announce cancellations or closings on the Arkansas Judiciary website. He said all jury trials scheduled for March and April have been postponed, and the judges will ensure that core constitutional functions and rights are protected.
The judge also noted that courts can always be accessed by telephone and email during regular business hours. All filings with any clerk of any court shall be made by mail, fax, or email to protect the employees of the clerks’ offices in the public.
The judge said the clerks for each court will continue to accept monies for filing fees and fine payments by electronic means or payment can be made via regular mail.
To read the 16th judicial District Court’s order, click here.
To read the Arkansas Supreme Court’s order, click here.
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