LANSING, Mich. — Ingham County courthouses are scaling back access to the public as COVID-19 cases surge in mid-Michigan.
“We are trying to push everything we can to Zoom,” said Richard Garcia, Ingham County's chief circuit and probate judge.
Michigan Supreme Court guidelines call for local courthouses to return to phase one protocols when positivity rates reach 15%.
Ingham County is currently at 15.2% positivity, according to data from the University of Michigan’s School of Information and Public Health.
Judge Garcia says the courts are working to be flexible for people needing assistance.
“We certainly are opened up to receiving filings by email. There’s phone calls that are still being dealt with. There’s online access to a lot of things that need to be done at the court,” he said.
Under phase one, hours of operation at the Veterans Memorial courthouse are now 9 am to 4 pm.
Entry to the circuit or probate court is only allowed for people attending in-person hearings.
Emergency filings will still be accepted and processed.
“We’re just asking people to use Zoom when you can and make sure you stay safe and avoid the courthouse and other public places during this time of an increased positivity and spread of the virus,” said Garcia.
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