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State Supreme Court issues new guidance on courtroom access, teleconferencing

Bill Oxford

As cases of coronavirusrise in Michigan, the state's courts now must limit the number of people inside courtrooms to 10 to practice social distancing.

That's according to an order issued by the state Supreme Court Wednesday.

“All trial courts must take immediate action to protect the public and court personnel by limiting activity only to essential functions,” Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack said in a statement. “The Supreme Court speaks with one, decisive voice: Courts must respond so that the policy is uniform all across Michigan.”

Essential functions include arraignments for in-custody defendants, review and determination of requests for search warrants and personal protection orders, certain child protective proceedings, and critical issues regarding child support and child custody

The new order also allows courts to use video and teleconferencing for some business.

It applies to all of the state's circuit, criminal, family and probate courts, and will be in effect until at least April 3.

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Lauren Talley is Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition producer. She produces and edits studio interviews and feature stories, and helps manage the “Mornings in Michigan” series. Lauren also serves as the lead substitute host for Morning Edition.
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