Updated Municipal Court Guidelines
Operating Guidelines for the City of Jefferson Municipal Court
The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, having greatly affected daily life, procedures are required to comply with social distancing and other public health requirements to safeguard the health of litigants, lawyers, judges, court personnel, and the public during in-court proceedings.
The following procedures and guidelines, in effect until further notice, are not designed for inconvenience, but rather to ensure that matters are handled safely, effectively, and efficiently:
1. Do not bring any non-essential members (e.g., children, spouses, other family members, friends, etc.) to court.
2. Contact the court clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org; 706-367-5231) about your scheduled court date immediately so that your Court date can be reset or other arrangements can be made if:
a. You are a person subject to Section III of Executive Order 07.15.20.01 titled “Sheltering in Place” (https://gov.georgia.gov/document/2020-executive-order/07152001/download); or
b. You have small children and do not have childcare due to COVID-19; or
c. You are over the age of 65; or
d. You are currently infected with COVID-19 or in quarantine due to exposure to a person with COVID-19.
3. Defendants under 21 years of age may have one parent or their legal guardian attend the court hearing with them.
4. ALL litigants, lawyers, judges, court personnel, and the public will be required to wear a face mask. YOU MUST BRING YOUR OWN FACEMASK. The court will not be able to provide one for you.
5. Upon arrival to the building and parking lot housing the City of Jefferson Municipal Court:
a. PARKING: Please park in the front parking lot of the Jefferson Police Department.
b. SPECIFIC ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN INSTRUCTIONS: There will be a check-in area to notify the court that you have arrived. Once you check-in remain in your vehicle until an officer retrieves you for your hearing. Court starts at 9:00 A.M. but this does not mean that will be the exact time you will be called into the courtroom.
6. The courtroom, common areas, and the lobby of the police department will be measured out to reflect six feet (6 ft.) social distancing marks within the building. Officers will also be present to direct you of the procedures that will be taking place. Pay close attention to the officers' directions and adhere to the signs and markings that will be set in place.
7. Everyone’s temperature will be taken before entering the building and will be asked screening questions. When screened, anyone who registers a fever of 100.0 degrees, or higher, will be refused admission and will be given documentation regarding a new court date.
8. To reduce everyone’s risk of exposure, there will be twelve (12) chairs in the courtroom. Only twelve (12) individuals will be allowed in the courtroom at a time. Please do not move the seated chair. They are spaced six feet (6 ft.) apart for your safety. All chairs will be sanitized after each use. You may stand if you choose. Once inside the building, follow the directions given by the officers regarding the procedures that you must follow inside of the courtroom.
9. If your citation is a payable fine you can pay by phone 1-800-262-0128 or by website at www.ezcourtpay.com.
10. If you have questions or concerns you may contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-367-5231.
11. The courtroom will remain open to the public as required by law. The above guidelines are intended to be in compliance with public health guidance and with the requirements of the United States and Georgia constitutions and applicable statutes and court rules. These guidelines are intended to allow for the business of the court to proceed through the practice of social distancing and other habits to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
12. Prior to your court date and every day thereafter, please remember: to practice social distancing (specifically, staying 6 feet away from others when you must go into a shared space); frequently wash your hands or use alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available; wear face coverings (mask or cloth); avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; stay home when sick; and avoid frequently touched objects and surfaces.