COVID-19 OPERATING GUIDELINES
Due to the current situation with the threat of COVID-19 we are asking everyone that must attend court to take a few precautions. To help protect our staff and defendants that attend court, operations will be set up slightly different. Please read through the following carefully and if you have any questions feel free to give us a call (706)694-8800.
You will meet an officer at the door with a checklist that will allow only so many people in the building at one time (15 maximum capacity for court room). The court times will be staggered to prevent from overcrowding. Please take note of the scheduled time on your reschedule notice. If you wish to sit in your vehicle until it is time for you to attend court, please inform the officer.
If available we are asking that you please wear a face covering, mask, scarf etc. If these options are not available to you the Court will provide you with one. Please remember that our supply is limited so if you have one available please wear it. The officer at the door will also be taking your temperature before you enter the building.
We understand that some would like to have family or friends with them as a support system. We are asking for the time being that only the defendant and legal counsel enter the court building. If requested, it may be approved that any individual wanting to be with their child or spouse during the court process may be called back in to join the Defendant when their name has been called. The person joining the defendant will also be required to wear a face mask.
For your safety, we are following a few of the suggested guidelines from the Council of Municipal Court Judges. If one of the following applies to you, please call the City Hall and a reschedule will be granted.
• A member of your household or you may have a condition that classifies a person as immune-compromised.
• If you or someone you are the fulltime caregiver for is over the age of 65.
• If you have small children and do not have childcare on the court date given.
• If you have had an exposure with any individual that has tested positive for the Virus.
• If you have experienced an elevated temperature within the past 72 hours.
Once you enter the building you will notice blue tape on the floor that will help point you in the right direction of travel. The chairs located in the courtroom will also be separated to suggested standards. The court staff will be there to help assist you along the way.
Hand sanitizing stations will be made available to Defendants through the process. Also the recommended CDC signs regarding social distancing, information regarding the Corona Virus and also the proper hand washing procedures have been posted in adequate locations for public viewing.
The Court chairs, clip boards and pens will be sanitized in between each defendant utilizing them. Personnel will limit distance between them and defendants when it is feasible. All employees of the court will be required to wear a mask during court sessions and when in close contact with another employee. At any time if any court personnel believe they have been in close contact with an individual that is positive, or they are showing signs or symptoms of COVID 19, they will be required to seek medical attention for testing. Court personnel will also submit to a temperature check with a no contact thermometer.
If you need a reasonable and necessary accommodation to attend Court, such as an interpreter, please contact Varnell Municipal Court, Court Clerk, at (706) 694-8800 in advance of your day of Court to discuss your requested accommodation.
You should not miss Court because you believe that you need a necessary accommodation without first communicating with the Court Clerk about your request. You may otherwise be considered absent and a Bench Warrant for your arrest may be issued by the Court.
Notices will be modified to reflect expected requirements of individuals before coming to court. Arrangements will be made as necessary for defendants.
All processes of the Court during the continuance of the declared Statewide Judicial Emergency shall comply with the guidelines of the Judicial Council Strategic Plan Standing Committee.