XENIA — Greene County Common Pleas Court will remain open and continue operations, but allow for flexibility, according to a temporary order issued in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Judge Stephen A. Wolaver issued the order March 13. The order stresses the importance of ensuring the protection of individuals’ rights and efficient administration of justice.
“Based upon these Findings of Fact, the Court of Common Pleas and all of its divisions will develop a continuum of flexible responses in case the public health crisis escalates or increases in size and scope,” the order states. “The continuum of responses is intended to protect public health, to maintain essential court functions, and to continue to protect the rights of all individuals subject to the authority of the Courts.”
The court authorized the use of audiovisual devices and technologies for all actions and proceedings feasible for use, depending on the the action or proceeding. Other proceedings may be re-scheduled.
“The public health emergencies identified herein may be considered to be a finding of good cause for the granting of continuances of jury trials, court trials and hearings as deemed necessary by each Judge on a case-by-case basis,” the document continues.
The courts are also taking a “common sense” approach when dealing with members of the bar or the public, like practicing social distancing and conducting business remotely, including through phone conferences.
According to the order, staff is working to keep areas clean and sanitized, and security staff will be looking into means to identify sick individuals who enter the courthouses and take appropriate action to ensure a healthy work environment.