Courts Innovate in the Midst of Pandemic

From socially distanced courtrooms to virtual hearings, courts around the country are continuing to adapt to the ongoing pandemic environment that continues to be the world we live in.

Los Angeles has created a $0 bail schedule for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies to “curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and surrounding communities.’ California courts have largely instituted virtual proceedings.

While courts in the Motor City are now performing virtual weddings, Massachusetts Trial Court has created remote processes for victims of stalking and domestic violence.

US Courts Pretrial Services Chief, John Fitzgerald said he sees officers and staff all across the country “innovating at a rate that is just incredible” and ”thinking creatively to get us through this.”

The US Supreme Court now hears oral arguments by telephone.

Sometimes adaptation comes at a price. As is the case with the recent toilet flush during the Supreme Court’s oral arguments.

Embarrassing moments aside, our courts are rising to the needs of the day, innovating and adapting to the new state of the world. Given that we are only in the first wave of the pandemic, this adaptability will continue to serve us throughout these trying times.


Image courtesy of the LA Times


 

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