EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Some Evansville courts are being moved to new locations because of COVID-19.
Small claims, juvenile, and misdemeanor courts will be moved to the Old National Events Plaza for social distancing requirements.
”In addition, as you can see, if you walked around the building here this morning, we also had to make some changes in this building,” Leslie Shively the Chief Judge said. “Again marking where you can and cannot sit and where you can stand and cannot stand to make sure the six feet distance requirement was followed. As you also probably observed, no one enters this building without getting their temperature taken.”
.Judge Shively says criminal cases will also soon be in session and most likely at Old National Events Plaza.
”We’re going to do our first jury trial, in superior court, criminal case, I think on August 3 and most likely it’ll be over there. We’ve had plans drawn up so again we can utilize that space to create a courtroom with all the spacing requirements in place,” Judge Shively said.
The judge says backlogging hasn’t been nearly as big of an issue as in other counties, but cases are still starting to pile up.
”We’ve been able to avoid backlogs in most of our courts,” Judge Shively said. “It’s getting a little tenuous in our criminal courts because there’s spinning trial rules, especially for people who are in custody, they have to be tried within so many days if they have in fact made that speech or request. Obviously that’s a constitutional thing we have to respect that.”
And because Governor Holcomb extended the order that prevents evictions, foreclosures and utility disconnections for another month amid the coronavirus pandemic, Judge Shively is expecting backlog in eviction court.
”We expect when that occurs, we’re going to have an avalanche of cases filed,” Judge Shively said. “Fortunately, money will be available for tenants to take care of rent that are behind. It requires landlords to take advantage of that.”
Judge Shively also says the volunteer legal services program is ready to go to start helping people.