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State courts to close Tuesdays and Thursdays, limit media presence

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The state courts that remain open during the coronavirus pandemic will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning April 14, in a further attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

The state Judicial Branch, which has closed all but 10 courthouses, reduced public hours to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and limited business to priority matters, on Tuesday announced a new, temporary media policy for coverage of criminal matters.

The branch is making audio recordings of court proceedings available to members of the media upon request. In cases where journalists want to attend proceedings, the branch will allow one pool reporter and one pool photographer to cover an event and distribute their coverage to other media outlets. Media representatives who want to obtain court documents will request them through the branch's External Affairs Division, at external.affairs@jud.ct.gov, rather than from clerk's offices, which are minimally staffed.

The procedures will be evaluated once they are implemented, and appropriate adjustments will be made, if necessary, according to the branch.

The branch announced last week that it is closing its probation offices to the public while minimal staff continues to work with clients and respond to violent behavior.

The branch has published a flyer on its website, jud.ct.gov, with information on accessing court services from home.

k.florin@theday.com

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