The Cochise County Superior Court can begin in-person hearings with a maximum of 30 people in attendance beginning next month, an order put out by the state’s highest court said.
The order, issued by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, also states that participants in a hearing may be subject to body temperature screening. The edict also says that judges can require that individuals wear their own face coverings, and anyone who refuses, will be asked to leave the courthouse.
Court staff must don face masks, as well.
Additionally, the order says that anyone who has been diagnosed with the virus, or has symptoms of it, must contact the judge before a hearing.
“Anyone appearing at a hearing who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is required to alert the judge and other court officials so that alternative arrangements can be made, the order states. additionally, judges can continue a hearing if anyone who is a party, has coronavirus symptoms or is at a high risk of contracting the illness.”
The order prior to this one, stated that no more than 10 people could attend a court session.
It also gave judges and attorneys the leeway to vacate certain hearings and hold others telephonically and by video. No trials were scheduled.
In the most recent order, Brutinel stated that the 30-person maximum limit requires social distancing guidelines.
The intent, the justice wrote, is “to discourage scheduling of multiple court hearings at a single date and time.”