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Michigan trial courts ordered to limit activity to essential functions

People who failed to report for jury duty in Detroit's 36th district court could be fined, jailed
Posted at 7:54 AM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 09:45:35-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Supreme Court ordered all trial courts statewide to limit access to courtrooms to no more than 10 people.

Staff are also ordered to practice social distancing and limit court activity to only essential functions.

“All trial courts must take immediate action to protect the public and court personnel by limiting activity only to essential functions,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack in a press release. “The Supreme Court speaks with one, decisive voice: Courts must respond so that the policy is uniform all across Michigan.”

Essential functions include arraignments for in-custody defendants, review and determination of requests for search warrants and personal protection orders, certain child protective proceedings and critical issues regarding child support and custody.

Courts can also have more flexibility to conduct business using technology like video and phone conferencing.