Oklahoma County officials are preparing for an influx of people on Monday, May 18. That is when the courthouse and the court clerk’s office will reopen to the public.
Officials said the public should come wearing a mask and expect to practice social distancing measures.
“It’s going to be very busy on Monday,” said Rick Warren, Oklahoma County Court Clerk.
The Oklahoma County court clerk's office is not taking any chances. Rick Warren has put COVID-19 safety measures in place for his 135 employees. Plexiglass has been installed in the areas where paperwork is filed for civil and criminal cases.
“We’ve provided them with hand sanitizers, N95 masks,” said Warren. “And we’re doing all we can do just to keep them safe.”
Traveling from floor to floor will be limited to two people per elevator. Over on the side of the courthouse, judges will begin allowing more people inside their courtrooms.
“Some are going to require a mask or face covering inside their courtroom,” said Ray Elliott, Oklahoma County Judge. “Some are not.”
An administrative court order stated that judges will limit the number of cases on a docket and attorneys can only file emergency motions or new cases.
Also starting next week - victims, their immediate family and their representatives will be allowed to attend hearings with a judge's approval.
Elliott said those hearings will be for emergency matters and for people in custody. He said jury trials are still on hold.
“We’re anticipating that August 17th will be our first jury trial,” said Elliott. “That’s the date currently set and obviously this situation is very fluid. That could change to a further date.”
Elliott said out-of-custody criminal hearings and proceedings have all been moved to after June 1.