Douglas County District Court drops mask requirement; judges may still ask people to wear masks

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Article updated at 9:10 a.m. Monday:

Those with business in Douglas County District Court will no longer be required to wear masks to enter the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, effective Monday.

“All persons should feel free to utilize a face covering or maintain social distance as to them seems most appropriate when entering or conducting business within the Judicial Center,” an administrative order signed by Chief Judge James McCabria on Monday states. “District Court employees should be respectful of such decisions both as to the public and to co-workers.”


Also, people should be prepared to mask up and/or distance themselves from others. A judge presiding over a hearing may ask participants to do so if it seems appropriate “for the safety, security and orderly operation of the proceedings in their courtroom,” the order states.

“Essentially, people coming to the court house should be aware that they will not be required to wear a mask or submit to any health screening to enter the judicial center, but they should bring a mask in case a judge requires it for any particular hearing,” McCabria said via email Monday. “Also, if they are interacting with someone at the judicial center who requests that they wear a mask, it is our hope that people will be respectful of such requests (although that is not a requirement of this order at this time).”

The court will still make active use of remote proceedings and make a reasonable effort to accommodate anyone who wishes to participate remotely, the order states.

McCabria said that as of Monday, he expected that docket protocols would stay the same. Most divisions have continued using Zoom videoconferencing for their dockets and livestreaming them over the court’s YouTube channel.

The court previously continued to require masks to prevent potential bias based on vaccination status.

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