New Linn County Courthouse Covid-19 Supervisory Order Limiting Courthouse Access

On November 16, 2020, Sixth Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Grady issued a new Supervisory Order limiting entry to the Linn County Courthouse due to the COVID-19 virus. See the Order here:

The Order states:

Pursuant to the authority given to me as Chief Judge, and because of the recurrent COVID-19 situation, I find it necessary to provide you with the following directive for those people needing to enter the courthouse during normal business hours.

Emergency Orders – The public may come to the courthouse to get a domestic abuse protective order or to get an involuntary commitment on someone for mental health reasons or substance abuse. A person coming for a domestic abuse protective order or attending a domestic abuse hearing may bring two non-lawyer persons with them. Persons seeking an involuntary commitment may also bring a person with them, as two affiants are required for these orders. These individuals should be directed to the clerk’s office or their previously assigned courtroom.

The public may come in for other emergency orders, including hospitalization proceedings, domestic abuse proceedings, and other hearings that will appear on the court’s daily schedule.
The public may need to come to Magistrate Court for initial appearances. Any member of the public turning himself or herself in on a warrant may need to go to Associate Court to be seen by a judge for an initial appearance. Those coming for an initial appearance shall not be allowed to bring anyone in with them.

There also may be some hearings conducted that a person needs to appear for, such as a non-jury trial, family law hearing, plea proceeding, or sentencing. These hearings will be reflected on the court’s daily schedule.

In conclusion, anyone coming to the courthouse should be able to tell security at the door why they are there. They may be directed to call the clerk or county attorney. All who wish to enter the courthouse should be prepared to be asked health screening questions. Sheriff’s deputies have the discretion to refuse entry to those who are showing signs of sickness or do not comply with this order.