Eighth Judicial District Court Criminal Court Operations
According to Administrative Order 20-06, effective Friday, March 20, all in-custody defendants at the Eighth Judicial District Court will either appear by video or in the lower-level arraignment court. No defendants will be transported to a district court courtroom absent extraordinary circumstances.
All three grand juries will be suspended effective 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 19.
Defense attorneys will have limited ability to discuss things with their clients during court proceedings. Attorney-client conversations will be facilitated if needed; however, attorneys are cautioned that it will be absolutely necessary to prepare clients for guilty please, sentencings and probation revocations prior to court.
Attorneys are encouraged to appear by alternate means; in order to do so, attorneys must email the department at least one judicial day in advance of their appearance and provide the email address they intend to use for the appearance. Contact the department in case of emergencies.
Only in-custody arraignments, release motions, sentencings, probation revocations and competency hearings will proceed, unless a judge determines a different matter needs hearing. Out-of-custody matters may be decided by the judge or heard at the discretion of the judge, if the matter can be heard entirely by alternate means. Otherwise, out-of-custody matters will be continued.
Criminal division specialty court matters will be heard together in lower-level arraignment court on Friday, March 20, 2020, at noon. All status hearings for out-of-custody participants will be continued for 30 days, barring extraordinary circumstances.
For more information, see the text of the administrative order.