One Year Into COVID-19. . .

Paul Seckel April 9, 2021

It’s all-over Social Media. It’s almost all anyone can talk about anymore. We all have a constant visual reminder of the past year. . . the face mask. Here we are, one-year into the COVID-19 pandemic. One year ago, the kids were let out for Spring Break and it seemed like the NEVER WENT BACK! Our Facebook memories are like looking at a weird time-capsule out of some apocalyptic movie where we all have no immune system so we have to wear face masks and constantly wash and sanitize our hands and we are scared to go outside. It is surreal.

The past year has transformed nearly every aspect of our world. Almost overnight. Living through a global pandemic has driven dramatic shifts in our jobs, eating habits, childcare, and even our collective sense of time. For awhile it seemed like a respite from the daily stressed of life; no more traffic jams, alarm clocks, rushed mornings, or car lines. Smog was lifted in big cities like Los Angeles and you could actually see for miles. Neighbors would help neighbors through social distance with signs and smiles. Volunteers made face masks for first responders, and we pulled together and worked from home. It was good for a while, maybe even a little fun. Now, a year in, it seems possible that life might never be the same again. Businesses are shut down, many are still working from home, students are still being home-schooled, seniors are still shut-in, and a passing smile is a thing of the past.

Times have changed and are still changing, so what does all this mean for our Court System? Things are booming along here in Marshall County, as well as surrounding counties, but things are certainly different. Marshall County uses a platform called ZOOM for all of its virtual hearings. You can download the app for your smartphone from the google playstore or apple store at no cost. The only thing that is required is an internet connection. Of course, the ZOOM Hearing does require an invitation and in order to get an invitation, the Court will need your email address and information. So, if you are involved in a court case, and are unsure whether or not the case will be heard virtually, it would be wise to contact your attorney or if you are self-represented, the Clerk’s Office and make sure they have a good telephone number and email address for you.

In person hearings are still happening also. The Marshall County Courthouse does require facemasks and temperature checks when you go through security. If you are ill or have a fever, the security guard will direct you where to go or who to notify. Only a certain number of people are allowed in the Courtroom, so it is recommended that you come alone or have your party wait outside until your case is called. Jury Trials have just recently started back in Marshall County and are socially distanced. All of the Judges, Clerks, Judicial Assistants, Bailiffs, Security Personnel, Sheriff’s Deputies, and Courthouse Staff have been very helpful during this time of transition and deserve a big round of applause. They have kept the Wheels of Justice turning so the backlog of cases is not as high as the Freedom Tower!

It’s always best to ask if you don’t know! If you have questions about your upcoming case in Marshall County or the surrounding counties, give us a call and let us help guide you in the right direction!