Okla. County Courthouse To Reopen Monday With New Guidelines

Monday, May 18th 2020, 6:56 am

Oklahoma County -

The Oklahoma County courthouse and the court clerk's office will reopen to the public Monday.

County officials say they're preparing for an influx of people. 

Visitors are recommended to wear a mask and social distance. County officials are also asking people follow these guidelines at all county facilities:

  1. Wear a mask.
  2. Be prepared for potential delays.
  3. If this is a scheduled visit at a specific time, arrive early.
  4. If going to the courthouse, enter on the east side of the courthouse.
  5. If going to county offices, enter on the north side of the building, located on 320 Robert S. Kerr.
  6. If you are ill or you have flu-like symptoms, do not come to the county buildings.
  7. Bring only the persons required for the visit.
  8. Observe signs posted throughout the building.
  9. If you are visiting a specific office, check their website information for special information or instructions.
  10. Be patient, courteous, and flexible.

Oklahoma County Court Clerk Rick Warren has also put COVID safety measures in place for his 135 employees. 

Plexi-glass has been installed in the areas where paperwork is filed for civil and criminal cases. Warren said they've also provided staff with masks and hand sanitizer.  

Inside the courthouse, a court order said judges will limit the number of cases per docket and attorneys can only file emergency motions or new cases.

Also victims, their immediate family and their representatives will be allowed to attend hearings with a judge's approval.

Judge Ray Elliot says those hearings will only be for emergency matters and for people in custody. 

"We're expanding a little bit in an attempt to try to get some business done and to make sure the rule of law continues and that those people who have a constitutional right to utilize the courthouse have that available to some extent," said Judge Elliot. 

The judge told News 9 that jury trials are still on hold until at least August 17. He also said out of custody criminal hearings and proceedings have all been moved to after June 1.