Missouri Supreme Court Suspends All In-Person Court Proceedings for Lower Courts Statewide
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – March 16, 2020 – In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Supreme Court of Missouri suspended – subject to certain listed exceptions – all in-person proceedings in all appellate and circuit courts, including all associate, family, juvenile, municipal and probate divisions, through Friday, April 3. The Court may extend its order as circumstances warrant.
The Court’s order authorizes the presiding judges of each of the state’s 46 judicial circuits and the chief judge of each of the three districts of the state’s court of appeals to determine the manner in which the listed exceptions to in-person proceedings are to be conducted. It further gives the judges presiding over such proceedings discretion to excuse jurors or other individuals who cannot or should not appear as a result of risks associated with COVID-19.
Today’s order does not affect a court’s ability to consider or rule on any matter that does not require an in-person proceeding. It also does not affect required deadlines through Missouri’s electronic filing system.
The full text of today’s order is available at https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=151973.
Also today, the Court announced certain changes regarding its own operations, available at https://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=151993.
As information about and best practices for dealing with the COVID-19 from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continue to evolve, the Court will continue to discuss how best to balance the health and safety of the public, judges and court staff statewide with the judicial branch’s responsibility to uphold the constitutional rights of litigants seeking redress and other core constitutional functions.