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Lewis and Clark/Broadwater Courts make changes to court proceedings due to COVID-19

Posted at 8:37 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 19:51:49-04

HELENA — Lewis and Clark County and Broadwater County courts are making changes to in-court proceedings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made due to the increasing difficulty for parties, counsel, court, clerk of court, pretrial services, probation and parole and detention center staff to be present in the courtroom while following public health recommendations.

All jury trials, both civil and criminal, scheduled to begin on or before May, 1 2020 are vacated and will be reset by the presiding judge.

Criminal defendants in custody who are quarantined for COVID-19 in Lewis and Clark County or Broadwater County Detention Center, or any litigant will not be allowed to appear in court without prior court permission.

Counsel will present bond arguments by telephone or video to the greatest extent possible for preliminary criminal matters.

Those requesting continuance, bod review, motion to suppress or any other motion shall be excluded from appearing personally before the Court.

Criminal defendants in a detention facility will only appear by phone or video for hearings or bench trials unless no other options are available.

All in-court and group Treatment Court proceedings and meetings are suspended until May 1, 2020.

Litigants and attorneys to report they are not feeling well will be ordered to reschedule their appearance, and parties are encouraged to file documents by email when possible.

Additional information about online or phone services offered by the Clerk of Court can be found online at https://www.lccountymt.gov/cdc.html