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Partial courts reopening tomorrow

The court system will reopen tomorrow but non-urgent business will continue to be adjourned.

Alexandra Wheatley, the Supreme Court Registrar, said the Magistrates' Court cashier's desk will reopen at 9.30am, but with shortened hours and safety precautions.

The desk at the Dame Lois Brown-Evans building on Court Street, Hamilton, will open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 9.30am and 12.30pm, but people were asked to make payments through online banking or by credit card on the phone where possible.

Ms Wheatley told the public: “If your case is in relation to a civil matter or a criminal matter — only if there is no warrant attached — you may call 295-5151 extension 1215 to make your payment via debit or credit card.'

Anyone who enters a court building will have to wear a mask or have other “appropriate covering” and sanitise their hands.

Anyone who shows signs of illness, such as coughing, will not be allowed in.

Only ten people at time will be permitted to enter the court building to make payments and they should stay at least six feet apart.

People should also bring their own pen to sign documents.

Supreme Court hearings between Monday and May 15 that involved witnesses or a jury will be adjourned.

Parties are urged to contact the Court immediately to explain why a case was urgent and should be heard, with the decision to go ahead or not made by the presiding judge.

Most Magistrates' Court hearings for the next two weeks be adjourned.

But Ms Wheatley added: “Where parties have appeared before the courts during the period between April 6 and May 1 and have been given dates to reappear before the court, those parties must appear as directed by the magistrate.

“Should any other dates be set by way of summons or by a magistrate during the period between April 6 and May 1, parties must appear.”

Plea Court will start at 11am to deal with urgent cases, but the Magistrates' Court will remain closed for filings until May 18.

The Supreme Court Registries will remain closed to the public until at least May 18, and only urgent searches of the cause books will be allowed.

Some services, such as the swearing of affidavits, certifying copies and criminal records checks are suspended until at least May 15.

Ms Wheatley said that “services will continue to be limited and revisited every two weeks” to protect court staff.

Magistrates' Court (file photograph)

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Published May 03, 2020 at 4:13 pm (Updated May 03, 2020 at 4:13 pm)

Partial courts reopening tomorrow

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