St. Louis Circuit Court Returns All Facilities To Phase Two of COVID-19 Operations

Sept. 1, 2020 — Presiding Judge Rex M. Burlison of the St. Louis Circuit Court has issued an administrative order returning the Civil Courts Building, Carnahan Courthouse and the Juvenile Court Division to a higher operating phase as defined by the Missouri Supreme Court.

The order moves the facilities to Phase Two operations from Phase One. The move essentially expands the possibilities for in-person proceedings in these facilities, including grand jury and jury trials for the most “extraordinary, pressing and urgent” cases. In addition, it expands occupancy maximums to 25 persons from 10 in large venues and common areas such as courtrooms, jury assembly rooms, jury deliberating rooms, break rooms, and other areas in court facilities.

Phase Two continues to spell out requirements for masks and social distancing among judicial employees and those authorized to enter for specific proceedings.

The Missouri Supreme Court continues to encourage all courts and judges to make maximum use of video conferencing, remote access and work-from-home technologies.

The Missouri Supreme Court requires that before moving to a higher phase of operations, each circuit court consider that progression of the COVID-19 pandemic has improved in its local community over a 14-day period. Circuit courts can also move back to a lower operating phase if local conditions worsen.

Details of Phase Two operations are contained in the Court’s COVID-19 Order #28.