Tahlequah Attorney BlogCan You Still File A Case During COVID-19?

You Must Wear a Mask In Oklahoma Courthouses.

 

Video Transcribed: Can you still go to court during COVID if you have a case? My name is Ryan Cannonie, I am the Tahlequah attorney for Wirth Law Office in Cherokee County.

And this is a video not so much about law, or components, or statutes, or anything like that, but just to talk a little bit about the life we’re living right now with COVID-19 and how that’s impacted and changed a lot of things that happen in courthouses.

So as most everyone knows, we’re wearing these masks, and I know that there’s a lot of back and forth on them, but that’s the requirement for most courthouses. And I get it. A lot of people don’t want to wear them. I understand more than most.

Tahlequah attorney Ryan CannonieMine rides up, and I end up with one of these lovely little sties ever so often because of the mask mandate.

But to get into any courthouse in Oklahoma, at least any courthouse that I’ve seen so far, you’re going to have to wear a mask of some sort and probably get your temperature checked.

So what does COVID-19 mean to your case? Well, the first thing is, courts are open. Courthouses are open.

You can file anything you were going to be filing before, divorce, small claims, anything like that. The COVID pandemic is not affecting that right now.

But if you want to go up to the courthouse, you’re going to have to check with your local court rules to see what’s going on.

In Tahlequah, they’re only letting in, in Cherokee County, they’re only letting in people who have business with the court, or have to file something, or have a reason to be in there.

They’re not just letting people come in. And most of the hearings, which are still technically open to the public, however, the process that’s going on right now is that if you’re not a party to the case, they’re not letting you in the courtroom most of the time. The reason for that is to limit how many people come in.

So I was actually up on a protective order docket just earlier this week. And the situation they had there was as they call cases out for people to go in, their attorneys could go in and stay in the courtroom or stay in the courthouse.

But the actual parties, the actual people with the case, were forced to stand outside or wait in their cars until their name was called. Which there was a ramp with a cover, but it was raining. It was not great weather.

And people were just having to get underneath this ramp, stay six feet apart and just wait all morning for their case to be called.

Now if you have an attorney with you, then sometimes you can get into court. You can get in there and do what you need to do through your attorney.

That’s one thing nice about hiring an attorney is because they can go in and handle some of your situation for you.

But you need to make sure wherever you’re looking at, if it’s Muskogee County, Adair County, Tulsa, you need to know what the policies are and procedures before your day of court.

And the reason I say that is because it may require you getting there earlier than you normally would, because you don’t want to get there, have to go through the temperature check, have a long line, get up to the courtroom only to find out they already called your case 30 minutes ago, and now it’s been dismissed because you weren’t there.

So make sure you know your policies and procedures with this whole COVID thing when you’re going to the courthouse.

And one way that can help you on that is if you hire a Tahlequah family attorney, your attorney is going to know what’s going on at the courthouse or at least be able to find out. And sometimes they can even go and appear for you and you don’t even have to take off work to go up there.

In fact, I know a lot of judges right now, and for the past few months, have encouraged attorneys if it’s a minor issue, if it’s showing up to just have a status or maybe a continuance or nothing major is going to happen, a lot of them are saying that the client, you, doesn’t even need to show up.

But that’s individual judges. You got to figure that out beforehand. Talk to your attorney before you just don’t show up.

But COVID-19 has impacted how courts function, but they’re still open. Just make sure you know what’s going on, the policies, procedures. Don’t forget your mask so you can get through there and get your case resolved.

And make sure you hire a Tahlequah criminal attorney that knows enough to check out what the policies and procedures are. So maybe save you a day from even having to come to the courthouse during all this.

So if you’re looking for an attorney, especially here in Cherokee County, that understands the procedures and can go up and try to resolve your case for you, please give us a call, go online.

You can check out our website, TahlequahAttorney.com. There’s a web form somewhere on there that you can use to message us through the website. And we can give you a call and discuss your case.

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