Many Douglas County District Court hearings to be livestreamed on YouTube; some appointments being scheduled
photo by: Journal-World File
Story updated at 3:07 p.m. Tuesday
As the Douglas County District Court moves toward reopening, hearings for civil, criminal and probate matters are livestreaming on YouTube.
The court anticipates some in-person hearings will begin early next month, according to an email from Chief Judge James McCabria. In the meantime, though, hearings held via Zoom videoconferencing will be available via the District Court’s new YouTube channel.
No hearings will be recorded, however. They will only be available live while they are occurring, and making a copy or recording a hearing is prohibited, just like regular in-person hearings.
The YouTube channel can be found by visiting youtube.com and searching for Douglas County District Court. The image associated with the account is of the historic courthouse at 1100 Massachusetts St.
No juries will be called in sooner than August.
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The District Court clerk’s office is also now scheduling appointments for public access, with some restrictions. At this time there will be no more than four 10-minute appointments available per hour to allow five minutes for cleaning in between each visitor.
In addition, visitors to the courthouse will be required to wear masks. They will also be subject to touchless temperature checks and screening questions about COVID-19 risk factors, according to McCabria’s email.
Small claims filing appointments will be from 9 to 11 a.m., limited civil filings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., domestic filings from 1 to 3 p.m. and public access to court records via the computer terminals will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance by calling the court clerk’s office at 785-832-5256.
The court clerk’s office will not make appointments for certain cases, including paying court fines and fees, applying for marriage licenses or filing protection cases, according to a news release from the office. Residents looking to pay fines and fees can do so online at citepayusa.com, and those seeking marriage licenses can email email@example.com. Petitions for protection orders are available at the security station located at the front entrance of the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.
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