Administrative Order issued 3-31-20 (extending 3/16/2020 order)
Administrative Order issued 4-28-20 (extending 3/16/2020 order)
Justice Center Building Access/Health Screenings
Face coverings MUST be worn when inside the Justice Center. If a person arrives without face covering, a mask will be provided.
Members of the public can enter the Justice Center only through the Ontario Street doors where they will have their temperature taken and will be asked a series of COVID-19 questions. Once cleared, they will be given a colored wristband to allow movement within the building. Members of the public will then be directed to lines dedicated to their destinations.
Only two people will be allowed on the elevators at one time, and the elevator floors have markings for where to stand. Persons seeking access to the first through fourth floors of the Justice Center will be required to use the escalators, unless they are physically unable to do so. One elevator will be designated for attorney use only.
The fourth floor cafeteria and patio remain closed, and restrooms will be limited to one person at a time. Children will not be permitted on the courtroom floors, and it is strongly suggested that children wait outside the Justice Center with another caregiver adult.
Courtrooms will be limited to 15 people, not including Court and county staff. Anyone visiting floors above the first floor will be required to sign in for contact tracing purposes if necessary.
Hearings will continue to be held by video conference or phone whenever possible to limit the number of people in the Justice Center. Trials will not resume until at least early August.
Court Safety Protocols
The Court asked retired Cleveland TV investigative reporter Paul Orlousky to look at what steps have been taken to protect the public from COVID-19 as in-person hearings resume.
Reduction of Staff
With the continued presence of the COVID-19 virus, the Judges of the General Division voted on Wednesday, March 18, to limit the number of Judges and staff in the Justice Center on a daily basis. This remains in effect even as in-person hearings resume.
To be clear, the Court remains open for civil and criminal matters, but we are utilizing remote services whenever possible.
Please click above to download the Administrative Orders (or scroll to the bottom of this page). Some of the measures were already in place, but new additions include:
- The Court will remain open for now, but jury trials remain on hold until at least early August
- Criminal arraignments will be held by video for incarcerated individuals
- Civil and criminal proceedings may be conducted via telephone or video conferencing at the discretion of each individual judge
- All individuals, including Court judicial officers and personnel, desiring to enter the courthouse are subject to available health screening or testing and may be excluded from admission based upon the results of such screening or testing. Face coverings are also required
Trials and Juries
The Common Pleas Court Judges have agreed to suspend jury trials until at least July 30, 2020, unless a person’s Constitutional right to a speedy trial is at stake. This includes both criminal and civil trials. Jurors are not to report to the Justice Center until early August.
Jurors do not need to appear at the Justice Center until trials resume. Anyone with questions can call after 4:30pm the day before their summons date to determine if they need to report in person to the Justice Center. The number is 216-698-2977. For more information on the new juror reporting procedures, click here
Modifications have been made in our Adult Probation Department.
- The West Side Office has re-opened for service
- All probation reporting is being done by telephone, unless otherwise instructed by the Probation Officer
- All probationers are to contact their Probation Officer for additional guidance
- Online payments can be made here
Modifications have been made in our Magistrates Department. Please click here to access the information.
The Dispute Resolution Department continues to hold all scheduled mediations. In accordance with the Court’s Order and recommended social distancing guidelines, the mediators will be conducting all mediations by either video or telephone conference. Counsel for the parties will receive e-mail notification providing details on how to connect for the mediation.
The Department is utilizing Zoom as the primary option for video conferencing. This platform allows participants to appear by video, which is preferred, but also includes a phone-in option. All platforms offer virtual “break out” rooms which provide confidential communication with the mediator and confidential communication between attorney and client.
In accordance with the Court’s Order, the department is working remotely as much as possible. The best way to communicate with your mediator is by e-mail:
Rebecca Wetzel: CPRBW@cuyahogacounty.us
Matthew Mennes: CPMXM@cuyahogacounty.us
Michael Biglow: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Mailbox: email@example.com
We look forward to working with the parties to help resolve your disputes and to provide the opportunity to discuss your case while protecting everyone’s health and safety.
Consistent with the Governor’s order and advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other public health entities, essential operations of the courts continue with limited staff. This will reduce the number of people in the Justice Center, Juvenile Justice Center, Courthouse Square and the Old Courthouse. The Court Resource Center remains closed.
Scammers are contacting people claiming to be tracing COVID-19 contacts. While legitimate health agencies, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health are calling people to complete contact tracing, they will never ask for your Social Security or Bank Account information. Do not click on links or respond to texts saying you have been exposed to COVID-19. Please report suspicious calls or texts to http://ConsumerAffairs.CuyahogaCounty.US or call 216-443-SCAM.
Cuyahoga County Emergency Operations Center