For the last few weeks, most courthouses in the United States have been completely off limits or access has been restricted. In most parts of the country that is still the case. In others, thoughts are already turning to restoring partial or complete access.
For now, however, there is no telling how long COVID-19 will be a significant public health threat here. This raises important questions going forward. For example, what happens if you test positive for the coronavirus? Will your case proceed? Will you still have to go to court?
To answer these questions, let us consider existing guidance.
First, if you suspect you may have COVID-19, consult your healthcare provider or your local health department to see about getting tested. If you test positive and have an ongoing or upcoming court case, be sure to consider the following actions:
- Talk to your attorney to get his or her advice.
- Get a doctor’s note confirming the diagnosis.
- Ask the doctor to include a recommendation against going to court.
- Contact the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction where your case is pending to let them know you are ill and request an adjournment.
- Ask the clerk where to send a copy of the doctor’s note as proof of your condition.
- After a reasonable amount of time has elapsed, follow up with the clerk to verify receipt of the doctor’s note.
Your attorney will be able to handle much of this for you and he or she may be able to confirm that once the court clerk has the correspondence and applicable notifications have been made, your case should be postponed. This will not only give you time to get better, but also limit potential spread of COVID-19.
It is imperative for you to keep us in the loop. If we are representing you in a criminal matter and you have been diagnosed with coronavirus, please let us know. That way, we can help facilitate the postponement of your case. You are also welcome to contact us with any other questions or concerns about your case, at any time.