Circuit Court - Public Message - Public Message

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI
ASSOCIATE CIRCUIT DIVISION

DIVISION NINE
NOTICE OF COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS


The following is the list of procedures and precautions all lawyers and litigants are requested to follow until August 1, 2020. Please note, these procedures are subject to change depending upon adoption of Local Rules for COVID-19 precautions, Orders of the Supreme Court, or other modifications required by circumstances.
    1. Jury Trials: All scheduled Jury Trials scheduled prior to August 1, 2020 are to be continued. Attorneys in these cases are requested to schedule a phone conference with the Court to select new pre-trial and trial dates;
    2. Hand Washing: Lawyers and litigants must wash or sanitize their hands immediately upon entering the Court House. All persons must cover their mouths when coughing, sneezing or yawning;
    3. Face Masks: Lawyers and litigants are strongly encouraged to wear face masks. All persons are responsible for obtaining face masks prior to arriving to Court.
    4. Social Distancing: All persons must follow social distancing guidelines as suggested by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, or at least 6 feet of separation;
    5. Staggering of Large Dockets: Division 9 will attempt to stagger case and docket settings throughout the morning and afternoon to assist with social distancing. Wednesday and Thursday dockets are going to be particularly affected by this new procedure. Attorneys and parties should check postings on the morning of the original hearing date. Staggering will proceed as follows:
      1. The common area computer screens will list case settings and a printed schedule may be posted in the front windows of the Justice Center to be visible outside of the building. These postings will occur the morning of the hearing or docket;
      2. Questions may be directed by phone call or email to the Division 9 Clerk, Audrey at div9@circuit7.net or at (816) 407-3990. Please call or email at least a day prior to your hearing. Calls or emails occurring the morning of the hearing or trial will not receive a response;
      3. Continuance requests must follow the procedure in paragraph no. 7 below.
    6. WARNING: The following persons will not be admitted into Division 9:
      1. Persons who have symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. dry cough, fever, etc.);
      2. Persons with flu like symptoms;
      3. Persons who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus;
      4. Persons who fail or refuse to follow social distancing and hand cleansing protocols will also not be admitted to the Division.
      If you are one of these persons, you must notify the Court by email and request a continuance to avoid entry of a judgment against you. Your continuance requests should follow the procedure in paragraph no. 7 below. Please do not come to Court to request your continuance.
    7. Continuance Request Procedure:
      1. Requests should substantially comply with the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure No. 65 and Local Rule No. 34.1; and
      2. Requests must be writing and received by the Court at least one day prior to your hearing; and
      3. All requests must state your NAME, CASE NUMBER, your REASON for continuance, and DATE(S) you are available to appear in the future. Continuances requests for more than 60 days will not be granted absent good cause. Requests that do not state the case names or case numbers will not be granted; and
      4. All requests must be in writing filed with the Court in one of the following forms: (1) an electronic filing of a motion if you are an attorney; or (2) by an email request to div9@circuit7.net if you are a party not represented by an attorney.
    8. Courtroom Procedure – Hearings and Bench Trials: All persons should as much as possible follow social distancing guidelines which include the following:
      1. Face masks are required;
      2. Completely cover your mouth when sneezing, coughing, or yawning. Failure to do so may result in suspension of the proceeding;
      3. Keep 6 feet of separation between persons as much as possible;
      4. Parties and attorneys should remain at the counsel tables and use the microphones at those tables for all appearances, arguments and inquiries of witnesses. Witnesses may testify from the witness stand;
      5. Evidence: The rules of evidence continue to apply. A nonparty witness may appear by telephone if all parties agree, but subject to the discretion of the Court. Witness testimony and/or records evidence may be submitted with the pleadings as evidence if done in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, statutory authority, or upon stipulation of the parties. Party testimony submitted by deposition is permitted, however, deposition designations shall be filed with the Court no later than 5 days prior to the hearing/trial date to permit time for objections and avoid unnecessary delays during trials;
      6. Motions: In cases where there are lawyers for each party, motions may be taken by teleconference or they may be submitted on the written motion. Witness testimony and/or records evidence may be submitted with the pleadings if done in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, or upon stipulation of the parties. All other evidence may be offered in accordance with paragraph no. 8(e) immediately above.
    9. Adult Abuse and Orders of Protection: These cases have not been suspended by the Missouri Supreme Court. Cases will be set for hearing in compliance with the applicable statutes and rules of procedure. Trials will be conducted in person and according to the aforementioned COVID-19 safety protocols. Parties may request continuances in accordance with the procedure set forth in paragraph no. 7 above. A nonparty witness may testify by telephone if all parties agree, but subject to the discretion of the Court. Other evidence may be offered as discussed in paragraph nos. 8(g) and (f) hereinabove.


CIRCUIT COURT OF CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI
11. South Water Street
Liberty, Missouri 64068

LOUIS ANGLES
ASSOCIATE CIRCUIT JUDGE
Division No. VII
(816) 407-3970
KAREN L. KRAUSER
ASSOCIATE CIRCUIT JUDGE
Division No. VI
(816) 407-3960
April 28, 2020


To: All Attorneys Practicing in Clay County Circuit Court
From: Judge Louis Angles (Div. VII) and Judge Karen Krauser (Div. VI)
Re: Temporary Procedure for Disposition of Misdemeanor Cases by Written Plea Date: April 27, 2020

NOTICE

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Divisions 6 and 7, Court will consider written Guilty Pleas for the disposition of certain Misdemeanors, without an appearance by defendant, defense counsel, or the prosecuting attorney. The Clay County Circuit Court has taken this action in accordance with the Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Criminal Procedure and all applicable Missouri Supreme Court Orders related to the COVID-19 virus. All members of the criminal defense bar are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of Misdemeanor cases, provided they deem it to be in the best interest of their client(s). Please note that the current procedures in place regarding the disposition of minor traffic offenses by plea agreement will remain unaffected.

Temporary Procedures for Disposition of Misdemeanor Cases
    1. Most Misdemeanor cases in Clay County may be temporarily be disposed of by written guilty plea. However, there are certain types of Misdemeanor cases where written guilty pleas will generally not be accepted. These include, but are not limited to: (a) Domestic Assault; (b) Assault resulting in physical injury; (c) Violation of an Order of Protection; (d) Probation Revocations; (e) DWI/BAC cases charged as Class A Misdemeanors; and (f) cases where the prosecuting attorney is recommending a conviction for DWI/BAC. DWI/BAC cases charged as Class B Misdemeanors may generally be disposed by written plea where the recommendation from the prosecuting attorney is an “SIS.” Fourth Degree Assault cases not involving physical injury and Non-Support cases will be determined on a case by case basis. In any case, if defense counsel believes that special circumstances exist which would otherwise justify the Court accepting a written plea, and the prosecuting attorney consents, defense counsel should follow the procedures set forth below in Paragraph 7.
    2. The Court has created several forms that must be utilized when taking advantage of these new procedures. For everyone’s convenience, these are Word forms that can be modified by defense counsel to fit any given case. You may download these forms by going to Circuit7.net. They include:

      Form 1 - Guilty Plea
      Form 2 - Judgment and Sentence
      Form 3 - Notice of Hearing for Disposition of Traffic/Misdemeanor Case(s) by Written Plea
      Form 4 - Order Granting Defendant Time to Pay
      Form 5 - State of Missouri’s Consent to Case Disposition by Written Guilty Plea and State’s Certification
    3. Defense counsel should first complete Form 1 (Guilty Plea), Form 2 (Judgment and Sentence), and Form 4 (Order Granting Defendant Time to Pay) and obtain the original signature of the defendant on each form. Once the defendant has signed and returned these documents to defense counsel, defense counsel should e-file them along with Form 3 (Notice of Hearing for Disposition of Traffic/Misdemeanor Case(s) by Written Plea) and retain the originals. Division 6 and Division 7 have established a “Written Plea Docket” that is scheduled for every Thursday at 9:00 a.m. In order to allow the prosecuting attorney sufficient time to review the forms, defense counsel should choose a Thursday which provides the APA/PA handling the case with at least seven (7) days-notice. The defendant, defense counsel, and the APA/PA need not appear for the Written Plea Docket.
    4. Once defense counsel has e-filed Forms 1, 2, 3, and 4, the prosecuting attorney’s office will review Form 1 (Guilty Plea) and Form 2 (Judgment and Sentence). If the APA/PA agrees that the forms accurately reflect the plea agreement, consents to the case being disposed by written plea, and makes certain certifications required by the Court, the APA/PA will file Form 5 (State of Missouri’s Consent to Case Disposition by Written Guilty Plea and State’s Certification).
    5. Defense counsel and the APA/PA may provide electronic signatures (“/s/”) on all forms used herein in lieu of an original signature.
    6. Due to the uncertainty about when the current health emergency will end, the financial hardship it has caused, and social distancing recommendations, the Court would allow up to three months to: (a) pay fines, court costs, CVCF payments, recoupment costs, and/or other fees or charges; and (b) up to six months to complete Court ordered programs, such SATOP, ADEP, VIP, or Community Service. However, Court ordered installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, SCRAM, House Arrest, or random testing for drugs or alcohol will generally not be deferred. Finally, where shock time or straight jail time has been ordered, the Court recommends a stay execution of that time during the COVID-19 crisis, depending on existing circumstances.
    7. Utilizing these procedures will allow both defense counsel and the prosecuting attorney to dispose of many misdemeanor cases without exposing everyone to the virus. Not only will this further the administration of justice, it will also reduce the size of our Misdemeanor and Traffic dockets when the current health emergency is over, August 27, 2020, unless extended by order of the Clay County Circuit Court.
    8. Any questions should be directed to the Circuit Clerk’s office:

      Traffic: (816) 407-3870
      Criminal: (816) 407-3860

    /s/ Judge Karen Krauser, Division VI
    /s/ Judge Louis Angles, Division VII

Effective Monday, May 18, 2020, and until further order of this Court, the following persons shall not enter the Clay County Courthouse, the Clay County Juvenile Justice Building, or any Municipal Court Division of the 7th Judicial Circuit, Clay County, Missouri, for any reason:
  1. Persons currently experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness, including fever, persistent cough, or shortness of breath*;
  2. Persons currently under self-quarantine as ordered or requested by any doctor, other licensed health care provider, or health agency (such as the Clay County Public Health Center), or who reside with anyone who has been ordered or requested to so self-quarantine, pursuant to a determination of a presumptive positive diagnosis of COVID-19 infection*;
  3. Persons who have been diagnosed with** COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) infection, or who reside with anyone who has been diagnosed with** COVID-19 infection, unless either that person or the person with whom that person resides
    1. Has been free of fever (100.4 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C or greater using an oral thermometer) for at least 72 hours (three full days) without the use of fever- reducing medications
    2. Other symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) have improved
    3. It has been at least ten days since the onset of symptoms; and
    4. That person wears a face mask or face covering for the entire duration of their time within the courthouse.
Anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by a Court Security Officer.

Individuals not authorized to enter the courthouse due to the above restrictions, and who have a summons or Order to appear in Court are instructed as follows:
  1. If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
  2. If you are not represented by an attorney, please call 816-407-3900, Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. – please have your case number, court date and court division ready;
  3. If you have been summoned for jury duty, please contact the Jury Supervisor at 816-407-3998; or
  4. If you are a witness in a hearing, please contact the attorney or party that subpoenaed you.
For all other members of the public seeking entry into either the Clay County Courthouse, the Juvenile Justice Center, or any Municipal Court Division of the 7th Judicial Circuit, Clay County, Missouri, the following restrictions shall apply:
  1. Face masks or face coverings shall be required of all persons, including all attorneys, litigants, and witnesses in all types of cases, seeking entry into any of the above buildings, and shall be worn at all times within any of those buildings.
  2. All members of the public are strongly encouraged to bring their own face mask or face covering; however, face masks will be provided to those individuals who do not have their own.
  3. Hand sanitizer shall be used by all persons, including all attorneys, litigants, and witnesses in all types of cases, seeking entry into any of the above buildings prior to being granted permission to enter the building;
  4. Social distancing separation of at least six feet from others shall be practiced to the greatest extent possible by all members of the public seeking entry into any of the above buildings, and shall be maintained at all times within the building;
  5. Entry into any of the above buildings shall be strictly limited to only those individuals with actual court-related business - all other adults shall be directed to remain outside of the building.
  6. In the Clay County Courthouse, the jury assembly area, the attorney lounge, and the law library shall be closed to all members of the public;
  7. No loitering shall be tolerated in any area of the Clay County Courthouse, including both floors of the rotunda – all members of the public, including all attorneys, are directed to conclude their business as rapidly as possible and then immediately exit the building;
Effective Monday, May 18, 2020, in-person court proceedings shall resume on a limited basis.

Individuals with questions regarding the status of pending civil or criminal cases, including questions regarding upcoming court dates, should first refer to case.net. For additional information, individuals with pending civil or criminal cases are directed as follows:
  1. If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney;
  2. If you are a victim or a witness for the State in a criminal case, please contact the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office at 816-736-8300;
  3. If you are a witness in a civil case or for the defense in a criminal case, please contact the attorney or party that subpoenaed you;
  4. If you are not represented by an attorney, or if you cannot reach your attorney, and you do not know the division to which you case is assigned, you may contact the Clay County Circuit Clerk’s Office at 816-407-3900, Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. – please have your case number ready;
  5. If you are not represented by an attorney, or if you cannot reach your attorney, and you know the division to which you case is assigned, you may contact the court clerk for that for that division directly, Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. – please have your case number ready. The phone numbers for the division court clerks are as follows:
    1. Division One: 816-407-3910;
    2. Division Two: 816-407-3920;
    3. Division Three: 816-407-3930;
    4. Division Four: 816-407-3940;
    5. Division Five: 816-407-3950;
    6. Division Six: 816-407-3960;
    7. Division Seven: 816-407-3970;
    8. Division Eight: 816-407-3980; and
    9. Division Nine: 816-407-3990.
ALL JURY TRIALS ARE HEREBY SUSPENDED THROUGH JULY 5, 2020. If you have been summoned for jury duty during that time frame, please contact the Jury supervisor at 816-407-3998.

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) infection, which include fever, persistent cough, or shortness of breath, stay home until
  1. They are free of fever (100.4 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C or greater using an oral thermometer) for at least 72 hours (three full days) without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  2. Other symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) have improved; and
  3. It has been at least ten days since the onset of symptoms.
**For purposes of the potential exclusions as set forth above, the term “diagnosed with” means either a positive test for the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), or a presumptive positive determination made by a physician, other licensed health care provider, or by the Clay County Health Department.

For more information on the Coronavirus, please visit:

Administrative Orders:

Forms For Temporary Procedure for Disposition of Misdemeanor and Traffic Cases

  • Form 1 - Guilty Plea - (PDF), (WORD)
  • Form 2 - Judgment and Sentence - (PDF), (WORD)
  • Form 3 - Notice of Hearing for Disposition of Traffic/Misdemeanor Case(s) by Written Plea - (PDF), (WORD)
  • Form 4 - Order Granting Defendant Time to Pay - (PDF), (WORD)
  • Form 5 - State of Missouri’s Consent to Case Disposition by Written Guilty Plea and State’s Certification - (PDF), (WORD)