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Colorado Supreme Court order regarding COVID-19 and operation of Colorado state courts

Monday, March 16, 2020

DENVER – Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats announced today that he has entered an order regarding COVID-19 and the operation of Colorado’s courts.

The order suspends some court operations, specifically all jury calls in state courts, except for jury calls for criminal trials facing imminent speedy trial deadlines, and allows for the provision of other ongoing court operations.

The order suspends jury calls through April 3, 2020, at which time the need for ongoing measures will be evaluated.

 “While the timely administration of justice is the cornerstone of our judicial system, protection of public health and safety and the wellbeing of our judicial staff is of paramount importance,” Chief Justice Coats said. “We can no longer continue with normal business operations, but in the interest of all Coloradans we are also unable to cease operating entirely. Balancing those factors, I entered today’s order.”

The Courts otherwise remain open and will continue operations for matters including, but not limited to:

  • Petitions for temporary civil protection orders and permanent protection order hearings;
  • Petitions for temporary emergency risk protection orders and hearings on emergency risk protection orders;
  • Crim.P. Rule 5 advisement for incarcerated persons and the initial setting of bail;
  • Revocation hearings on complaints to revoke probation involving an incarcerated defendant;
  • Proceedings necessary to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants including bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals;
  • Detention hearings for juvenile delinquency cases;
  • Shelter hearings in dependency and neglect cases or other juvenile proceedings;
  • Petitions for appointment of an emergency guardian and/or special conservator;
  • Hearings on motions to restrict parenting time and parental abduction prevention; and
  • Emergency mental health proceedings.

Colorado is a unified court system with 22 Judicial Districts and 64 counties, each with unique populations, demographics and infrastructure. Each district has a Chief Judge who makes administrative decisions for the district. All information related to district decisions regarding COVID-19 and Court and Probation operations will be posted to the district’s Webpage. Links to all pages can be accessed here.

Those with docketed court appearances unsure about whether to appear for a hearing, are asked to contact the clerk of court at their courthouse.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

  • The following Judicial Districts have postponed operations through Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
    • 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties)
    • 20th Judicial District (Boulder County)
    • 21st Judicial District (Mesa County)
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