Clallam County District II Court Covid-19 Emergency Order

  • Tue Mar 17th, 2020 10:07am
  • News

District Court II of Washington, County of Clallam, in the matter of emergency no. 2020-01 response to the threat to public health

The court takes judicial notice that (1) on February 29, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency due to the public health emergency posed by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19); (2) on March 4, 2020, Chief Justice Debra Stephens of the Washington State Supreme Court adopted Order No. 25700-B-602, granting emergency authority to the Presiding Judges of Washington courts to adopt, modify and/or suspend court rules and orders, and to take actions concerning court operations, as warranted to address the current public health emergency; (3) on March 16, 2020, the Governor imposed additional restrictions, including prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people due to the danger of continued spread of the virus; (4) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet); and (5) as of the date of this order, there are 904 positive/confirmed cases and 48 deaths in Washington due to the virus.

Given the significant number of confirmed and projected cases of COVID-19 in the 14 state, the severity of the risk posed to the public and the weight of the public health information currently available to the court,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT EFFECTIVE MARCH 18, 2020, UNTIL RESCINDED,

1. All criminal and civil jury trials scheduled before May 18, 2020, shall be continued to a date after May 18, 2020, as determined by the clerk.

2. All Time for Trial rules in CrRLJ 3.3 and CrRLJ 3.4 are suspended.

3. Continuances shall, whenever possible, be handled by agreed order without an in-person hearing. The court will accept agreed motions to continue with a speedy trial waiver signed by the defendant without the defendant appearing in-court or telephonically.

4. Defendants who have concerns about attending in-person court hearings at this time may request to appear by telephone for such hearings if they provide the court with a working telephone number before the hearing.

5. All defendants required to report to probation shall do so telephonically. Defendants are responsible for calling the probation officer at their scheduled 30 meeting times.

6. A defendant who contacts the court seeking a hearing to quash an outstanding bench warrant may have any warrants quashed ex-parte by the court in chambers if the defendant provides his or her current mailing address and the case(s) do not involve an immediate threat to public safety.

7. Anyone entering the courtroom shall, when practicable, maintain a six-foot distance from all others in the courtroom. Anyone feeling sick shall not enter the courtroom. Such individuals should notify their attorney of their situation as soon as possible or, if no attorney is involved, contact the court by phone, email or fax. Anyone appearing to the court or court staff to exhibit illness symptoms may be ordered to leave the building.

ORDERED March 17, 2020, at 9:44 AM

ERIK ROHRER

PRESIDING JUDGE