Lake area courts opening slowly and carefully

Updated: May. 18, 2020 at 8:26 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Courts in our area are opening slowly and carefully in a way aimed at protecting the public.

Lake Charles City Court opened for the first time in weeks, but to enter the building, people must get a temperature check. As well, there are signs along the way reminding the public to social distance.

Ward 3 Lake Charles Marshal Vic Salvador says they are working hard to keep the public and employees safe.

“After each court hearing, the courtroom will be sanitized. And if we have a second session, we’ll do it again after the second session,” said Salvador.

The first criminal court date is June 8th and right now there are no civil court hearings.

“The court is accepting traffic fines; you can still visit civil but there are a lot of civil proceedings that are on hold right now. For instance, evictions have been postponed for a period according to the governor’s proclamation as well as the interpretation by the Louisiana supreme court,” he said.

And if someone does have fever:

“We’ll get your name down, get your address and phone number and send you away. You’ll be notified of a new court date. The court will be in contact with you and reschedule you,” said Salvador.

At 14th Judicial District Court, things are also far from normal.

Only those who are on the docket are allowed to come inside. Court Administrator Michelle Pitsch says a mask is required. She says the judges are being protective of the public and requiring that social distancing guidelines be followed.

For now, Pitsch says most hearings are online zoom meetings. For more information on the Calcasieu Clerk of Court’s current services click here.

The Louisiana Supreme Court says there will not be any jury trials until after June 30th.

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