Circuit Court updates response to COVID-19 outbreak

In response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the resulting states of emergency declarations issued by President Trump, Governor Whitmer, and Executive Order 2020-21 issued by Governor Whitmer, Oakland County Circuit Court Chief Judge Shalina Kumar issued the following updated order which describes the emergency procedures that the court has implemented to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of the public and employees of the Circuit Court:

This Order of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court is issued in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and the resulting states of emergency declarations issued by President Donald J. Trump and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Executive Order 2020-21 issued by Governor Whitmer, and as authorized by Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order No. 2020-1.

This Order is issued to implement emergency procedures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of the public and all who conduct business in the Circuit Court. This Order shall take immediate effect and continue through April 10 or until further notice by the court.

The Sixth Judicial Circuit Court will remain open to handle only emergency and essential operations as follows:

Criminal Cases
• Arraignments on the information will be done by mail through April 10;
• Emergency bond motions;
• Arraignments on bench warrants and warrants for violations of probation;
• All criminal jury trials scheduled through April 10 will be adjourned. Criminal jury trials in progress as of March 16 will continue;
• Sentencing hearings for in-custody defendants will be held by video unless objected to by the defense, and in that case may be adjourned; and
• All criminal calls will be adjourned.

Juvenile Cases
• Preliminary hearings for all delinquency and child protective proceedings;
• Issuance of and arraignments on all OTTICs;
• Violation of probation hearings when detention is requested;
• Emergency removal hearings for child protective proceedings;
• In-custody designated and adult court waiver arraignments;
• Safe delivery of newborn hearings;
• Reimbursement department bench warrant dismissal hearings;
• Parental by pass hearings;
• Disposition hearings for in-custody juveniles will be done by video; and
• All trials will be adjourned through April 10.

Domestic Relations Cases
• Divorce, custody and parenting time matters alleging an immediate threat of harm to the children; and
• All family division motion calls will be adjourned through April 10. Emergency motions may be heard by telephone when possible.
Friend of the Court Matters
• Early intervention conferences shall be adjourned or handled telephonically, if possible;
•The SMILE Program shall be offered electronically only;
• The FOC payment window will remain open;
• FOC child support reviews will continue;
• Custody and parenting time investigations and parenting time disputes will be addressed using telephone interviews only;
• FOC arraignments on bench warrants will continue; and
• Referee hearings will be adjourned when possible or conducted by telephone when necessary.

Personal Protection Orders
• In-custody arraignments on bench warrants for violation of PPOs by video;
• Contested show cause hearings if defendant remains in custody after arraignment;
• Personal Protection Order petitions of an emergency nature alleging an immediate threat of harm;
• Hearings on a request for entry of a PPO on a case by case basis; and
• Bail hearings for PPO respondents will continue per current practice.

Civil Cases
• Requests for emergency show cause and injunctive orders will be reviewed by the assigned judge or the judge on call;
• Business Court emergencies will be reviewed by the assigned judge or the judge on call; and
• Civil jury and bench trials will be adjourned through April 10 or until further notice by the court.
• No in-person civil motion calls will be conducted through April 10. Motions may be filed and heard, via telephone, at the discretion of the court; and
• Case evaluation hearings scheduled to be heard through April 10 will be adjourned until further notice by the court.

The Chief Judge will hear all infectious disease petitions brought by the Oakland County Health Department or the Oakland County Department of Corporation Counsel on behalf of Oakland County.

Public viewing of court video records will be suspended through April 10 or until further.notice by the court.

All proceedings of the Adult Treatment and Juvenile Drug Courts will be adjourned through April 10, or until further notice by the court.

All matters not referenced above will be suspended or adjourned through April 10, or as otherwise stated in this Order, until further notice by the Court.

All matters referenced above that will continue per current practice will be handled by video or audio conferencing, if practicable.

The assigned judge on any matter referenced above may deviate from the provisions of this Order for good cause and upon approval by the Chief Judge.

Questions about the status of specific cases must be directed to the assigned judge’s chambers.

If you need immediate assistance, please contact the following telephone numbers for further direction:

• For emergency custody or parenting time matters call 248-466-4863.

• For Friend of the Court matters call 248-466-2728.

• For emergency Personal Protection Order matters call 248-464-2907.

• For emergency Juvenile matters call 248-766-7533.

• For emergency Civil/Criminal matters call 248-466-4260.

IT IS SO ORDERED

Shalina D. Kumar
Chief Circuit Judge

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