Heavican Updates Coronavirus Order Requiring Plans


Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican delivers his annual State of the Judiciary address to lawmakers, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at the Capitol in Lincoln. (AP)
By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Nebraska Chief Justice Mike Heavican has updated the order for the Nebraska Judicial Branch regarding COVID-19.

In the new order, issued last Friday, Heavican requires courts that are conducting in-person proceedings to adopt and implement a written plan “outlining adequate measures to limit the transmission of COVID-19 to staff, counsel, parties, and other participants.” A previous order, issued in June, only required the courts to outline at least one measure being taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

The new order requires courts to specifically consider the use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing hearing options, social distancing and spacing requirements, use of masks, providing hand sanitizer and sanitizing highly touched surfaces.

The order doesn’t mandate the use of masks or any other of those precautions, but it does require courts to submit their plan to the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation.

Judges are also instructed to consult with other members of their judicial district to devise uniform plans regarding measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Those uniform plans must also be submitted to the state administrative office.

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