Douglas County Extends Public Access Limits at Courthouse

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Restrictions remain in effect at the Douglas County Courthouse through at least Sunday, May 17.

A second amended order was entered April 28 to close hearings in the Fourth Judicial District to all in-person appearance. Court hearings can continue using video or teleconferencing.

Emergency cases “involving an individual’s personal liberty, safety, and family relations, including protection order hearings, shall be held by video and/or telephone conferencing,” the order states.

If a person lacks internet access or a phone, or does not stipulate to proceed by video or phone, an emergency hearing may be held in person with 24-hour notification to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Otherwise the case is to be held once regular access to the courthouse is restored, Presiding Judge Shelly R. Stratman said in Order MS 20-36.

Paul G. Cohen, administrator of the Omaha Douglas County Building Commission, also issued an April 28 memo extending the public restrictions to the courthouse and connected civic center.

“All access policies and procedures previously announced, and currently in effect, for courts and offices in the complex will continue throughout the period” through May 17, Cohen said.

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