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UPDATE: Public Notice Regarding COVID-19

Friday, May 15, 2020

Last updated: September 30, 2020

Update to information provided March 17, 2020, March 20, 2020, March 23, 2020, April 10, 2020, April 29, 2020 and May 15, 2020.

  1. The United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan is continuously monitoring information and advice from the Administrative Offices of US Courts, the Center for Disease Control, and public health officials.  The District Court is fully engaged with agency partners, including Probation and Pre-Trial Services, the Bankruptcy Court, the General Services Administration, the United States Marshal Service, the Federal Public Defender and the United States Attorney’s Office.  The District Court is considering all options and making decisions based on what we are learning in real time.  The District Court will regularly update decisions and related information on this website.
  2. As provided in the Court’s Third Administrative Order (dated April 29, 2020), beginning Monday, May 18, 2020, all Court facilities in the District will be open during regular business hours.  As posted at the entrance to each facility, persons who are sick; who are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath; or who have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive person within the past 14 days should not enter the building.
  3. Even though regular in-person hearings can and will begin again on May 18, each Judicial officer continues to make case specific assessments regarding what matters can or should be postponed, or handled by phone, video-conference or in other ways short of in person hearings.  A party that believes postponement, or other accommodation, of an in-person hearing is more appropriate and in the best interests of the parties than proceeding with the scheduled hearing should file a motion for the consideration by the assigned Judge. In addition, Administrative Order 20-MS-030 implementing Section 15000(b)(1) of the CARES Act, remains in effect as an option for certain matters.  A party who wishes to use that option should file an appropriate pleading in the case for consideration by the assigned Judicial Officer. Note: Administrative Order 21-MS-022 reauthorizes Administrative Order 20-MS-030, for the fourth time, Section 15000(b)(1) of the CARES Act. Similarly, Administrative Orders 20-MS-049, 20-MS-074, 20-MS-094, and 21-MS-022 reauthorize Administrative Order 20-MS-030.
  4. The District Court will continue to make liberal use of non-traditional work strategies, including staggering of work hours or telework (for example), to reduce the opportunity for virus transmission.  In addition, flu season health protocols are being regularly discussed and vigorously enforced with staff.  These include social distancing, hand washing and disinfection with sanitizers, regular cleaning of common touch points (doors, handles, keyboards, work surfaces), and requiring sick employees to stay home. The Court will also recommend use of appropriate face-coverings for persons inside a Court facility and necessarily in close proximity to others.  The Court provides face-coverings for its employees.  Members of the public with business inside a Court facility must provide their own.

Information specific to Jurors can be accessed here.