CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston's municipal court is set to return to its regular schedule of conducting trials beginning Monday.
The court will reopen for traffic and criminal bench trials, but no jury trial cases are being scheduled.
The court implemented the following procedures because of social distancing guidelines:
- No one who is coughing, feverish or ill may enter the courtroom.
- Defendants must wear a mask or face covering during court proceedings, unless the Judge allows them to remove it.
- A limited supply of masks will be available on-site. If a defendant does not have a mask, their case will be continued (one time) and they will receive written notice of their new court date prior to leaving the courthouse.
- Defendants must check in with a bailiff at the designated table located in the former DMV space, providing their name and cellphone number, and may only enter the courtroom at their designated time for court.
- Cases will be grouped together per officer.
- Unless someone is instructed to enter the courtroom, they will remain in the designated area until courtroom personnel either call or text them in reference to their case.
- Witnesses/Victims should remain outside the courtroom until called in by courtroom personnel.
- The courtroom will be opened to those with ongoing judicial proceedings only. If individuals are not a party to a case, they must remain outside the courtroom building.
- Defendants with children will be instructed to see court personnel for further instructions. The judge will be informed of these cases and they will be handled first.
- All defendants and/or parties to a case will be instructed to sit on the benches marked X. Courtroom personnel will ensure defendants are seated in designated areas.
- Defendants will sit at the table or stand closest to the podium near the jury box, and plaintiffs/prosecution will sit at the table farthest from the jury box.
- Defendants will not approach the bench or move beyond counsel tables without permission from the court.
- Door props will be used for hallway doors that lead to courtrooms on each floor to reduce unnecessary door handling.
Violators of these procedures will be asked to leave and may be held in contempt of court.