State Judicial Branch to reopen three courts on June 8
The Connecticut Judicial Branch, which has been operating in limited capacity throughout the coronavirus pandemic, announced Wednesday that it would reopen courthouses in Middletown, Rockville and Torrington on Monday, June 8.
Ten courts have remained open through the pandemic: the Supreme and Appellate courts in Hartford; the Judicial District courthouses in Bridgeport, New Britain, New Haven and New London; the Geographical Area courthouses in Hartford (No. 14) and Waterbury (No. 4); and the juvenile courts in Hartford and Bridgeport.
Beyond these locations and the three courthouses resuming partial operations effective June 8, all other courts will remain closed until further notice. Juvenile court business will resume in the Middletown, New Britain and Torrington courthouses, effective June 8. Cases from the Waterbury Juvenile Court will go to Torrington and cases from the Waterford Juvenile Court will go to Middletown.
The open courthouses will operate on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All courts will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. The days and hours of operation are subject to further change in the coming days and weeks.
The open courthouses will continue to handle "priority one" matters, including arraignments of defendants held on bond; arraignments of defendants in domestic violence cases; emergency child custody matters; and juvenile detention hearings. Many other matters are being handled remotely or through video conferencing.
"This pandemic has created many challenges for the Judicial Branch but it has also created new opportunities — opportunities to develop and leverage innovative technologies to allow us to do more court business remotely, resulting in greater convenience and greater efficiency," Connecticut's chief court administrator, Judge Patrick L Carroll III, said in a news release.
Masks, social distancing, hand sanitizers, limitations on the number of people allowed in courtrooms and courthouses, and enhanced sanitization protocols will be part of court operations for the foreseeable future, Carroll said.
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