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District Court implements measures to help prevent spread of coronavirus

Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 12:30pm

Using guidance from the Kansas Supreme Court and public health agencies, Chief Judge McCabria has issued several administrative orders since March 13 that will maintain critical functions of Douglas County District Court during increased concern over spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Among these orders is information on public access to court proceedings at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center at 111 E. Eleventh St. During this time of increased protection of public health, the Court will be limiting the number of individuals entering courtrooms or adjacent hallways. Those allowed into these areas are:  an attorney representing a party, a party, or a person under subpoena as a witness for a case scheduled for a hearing in the district.

The Clerk of the District Court will be open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., for emergency and essential matters as defined by Chief Judge McCabria and the Kansas Supreme Court’s Administrative Orders. The Court Trustee Office will be open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those who want to make an in-person cash or check payment on court-ordered support. District Court staff can be contacted at 785-832-5315.

District Court will resume issuing marriage licenses beginning Monday, April 20. For information about the application process, visit this webpage.

Judicial Workforce

In accordance with Kansas Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-PR-015, the Douglas County District Court will have several people under self-quarantine. On March 16District Court Judge Amy J. Hanley announced she would enter a period of self-quarantine for 14 days retroactive to March 8, 2020, consistent with this Supreme Court Administrative Order regarding Restrictions to Mitigate COVID-19 spread.

The administrative order compels judicial workforce members to enter a 14-day period of self-quarantine if the judicial workforce member, or person within their household, has traveled to high-risk locations with widespread community coronavirus transmission since March 1, 2020.  Locations identified include the states of California, New York, and Washington.

Judge Hanley’s husband, John, traveled to White Plains, N.Y. for a family member’s funeral on March 6 and returned on March 8.  The order requires 14 days of self-quarantine following the final date of travel.  Mr. Hanley will voluntarily self-quarantine for the same period.  Judge Hanley will work from home, as the order requires.

“I support the Supreme Court order and enter self-quarantine without hesitation,” Judge Hanley said.  “The health and well-being of Douglas County citizens is important.”

Law Library

To further help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19, the Michael J. Malone Douglas County Law Library is closed to the public effective immediately and until further notice. Attorneys may continue to use the library, but should not use the library for meetings and should not loiter or socialize in the library.

District Court Operations

Additionally, in response to increasing restrictions and concerns issued by state and local health departments, Douglas County Chief Judge James McCabria issued Administrative Orders to further define operational restrictions at the Douglas County District Court.

Hearings that will NOT be affected by changes at this time are:

  • Child In Need of Care (CINC) temporary custody hearings, including secure care and review of secure care hearings;
  • Juvenile offender detention hearings and offender detention review hearings;
  • Criminal first appearances scheduled at 3:00 p.m. each weekday;
  • Protection from Abuse/Protection from Stalking hearings scheduled at 1:30 p.m. each Friday;
  • Care and Treatment cases pursuant to Chapter 59 as scheduled or to be scheduled.
  • All hearings on the following dockets scheduled between now and June 1, 2020, will be continued:
  • Small Claims;
  • Traffic Court;
  • Limited Action first appearances (including evictions);
  • Department of Child and Family dockets scheduled in Divisions 2 and 5.
  • All other hearings in cases currently pending in this District, to include all criminal and civil cases, including jury trials, will be postponed until further notice from the Division Judge. In most cases, parties should anticipate that hearing will occur via telephone or video appearance where feasible and/or that hearing dates will be rescheduled to a date far enough in the future to permit full consideration of information as it develops regarding the virus and its spread, impact and treatment.

The Court orders can be viewed in the documents below.

Media Contact

Linda Koester-Vogelsang

Department Contacts

Name Job Title Phone Number Email Address
Linda Koester-Vogelsang Court Administrator 785-832-5256
Dee Jerome Administrative Assist 785-330-2810