Missouri Allows Court to Continue by Video or Teleconference

Judges may conduct proceedings by teleconferencing, video conferencing or other available technology "to the extent not otherwise prohibited by statutory or constitutional restrictions," according to an order.

by Jeff Lehr, The Joplin Globe / March 24, 2020
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(TNS) — The Missouri Supreme Court has extended its suspension of most in-person proceedings in Missouri courts through April 17.

The order issued Sunday extends a prior order issued March 16 and applies to proceedings in all appellate and circuit courts, including all associate, family, juvenile, municipal and probate divisions. All proceedings not requiring in-person appearances are not suspended and may continue or be suspended at the discretion of the judge in each matter.

Throughout the duration of the order, judges may exercise discretion to conduct proceedings by teleconferencing, video conferencing or other available technology "to the extent not otherwise prohibited by statutory or constitutional restrictions," according to the order.

The suspension of in-person proceedings is subject to exceptions for proceedings necessary to protect the constitutional rights of defendants, including the right to a speedy trial; certain proceedings pertaining to juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, the termination of parental rights and adoptions; proceedings related to orders of protection or emergency child custody or mental health matters; proceedings regarding emergency guardianship or conservatorship measures; proceedings related to petitions for temporary restraining orders or injunctive relief; and civil or criminal cases in which jury trials were already in progress on March 16.

Other exceptions are proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency and "oral arguments regarding time-sensitive matters."

©2020 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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