Utilizing significant social-distancing protocols, the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court will begin allowing more in-person hearings beginning Monday, June 1, if such hearings are deemed necessary.
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 videoconference or phone whenever possible to limit the number of people in the Justice Center. Trials will not resume until at least early August.
“The Court understands that these new restrictions may result in delays and potential discomfort, but the volume of traffic in the building dictates that we require the use of face coverings and social distancing protocols,” says Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge Brendan Sheehan, who signed an Administrative Order on May 26 spelling out the changes. “We are doing everything possible to make sure that people who are required to be in the building have as much protection from COVID-19 as possible.”
Click here for the Administrative Order that further spells out new procedures.