In-Person Court Services to Resume This Week in Iowa
See you in court. Literally.
According to the Gazette, Iowa's Supreme Court has decided it's time for in-person operations to resume in the state's courts on a face-to-face basis, with a slew of safety precautions being put in place. Orders issued last week will offer the guidance to have all 99 counties resume.
Rule number 1: masks will be required for everyone. Actual litigants, witnesses and other participants in a case whose faces need to be seen to avoid miscommunication or misidentification will wear protective face shields that still make them fully visible.
Hallways outside courtrooms will be monitored to ensure social distancing is practiced and large crowds not gathered. Hearings and trials will have a new scheduling process, with longer breaks in between sessions and to ensure fewer people in a room at one time (more social distancing).
It can now be put to the judge's discretion if video conferencing is a more appropriate setting in situations like informal family law, mediations, hearings, and trials. If a judge makes this call, courts have to provide the required technology to those involved who don't have access to it.
Jury trials will not resume until September 14.
The "family law" order will require court districts to develop plans for informal family law programs in cases like divorces with or without children, legal separations, paternity cases and modifications for child custody, visitation and child support.