March 23, 2021 — In response to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Supreme Court established a 4- Phase plan for safely returning court operations to full capacity. Muskegon County Courts were able to reach Phase 3 of this plan and re-opened the courthouse doors to the general public on March 1, 2021. However, the latest COVID-19 data shows an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in our community over the past 2 weeks. Pursuant to Michigan Supreme Court Order, this increase requires all Muskegon County Courts to revert to Phase 2 and its more restrictive conditions in terms of how the public interacts with the court and court staff.
For the general public, this means:
1. Court offices will not be open to serve the general public on a ‘walk-in’ basis.
2. Many court hearings will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Other court hearings will continue to be held in-person. Instructions on how to appear and how to participate for a court hearing will be provided to all parties along with a notice to appear. If you have an attorney and you are uncertain about whether you should appear in person or to appear remotely, please contact your attorney immediately.
3. Individuals will be allowed into Muskegon County Hall of Justice only under specific conditions. Unless you are noticed to appear in-person for a specific hearing or appointment with court staff, the general public will not be admitted into the courts’ facilities.
4. Everyone entering the Hall of Justice will be required to complete a health screening and everyone accessing court services will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside the building.
5. Jury trials will continue, but on a limited basis. If you are called for jury service, please carefully follow the instructions on the summons that you receive and call the Jury Clerk at the number listed on your summons, if you have any questions.
6. Other Muskegon County offices are not governed by the Michigan Supreme Court’s Return to Full Capacity Plan. You are encouraged to contact those respective offices directly regarding their hours of operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a great many challenges. It has also proven the resiliency of our citizens, and their institutions of government. We have found, and continue to find, new and innovative ways to meet these challenges – to adapt and to respond in a manner that ensures the public’s health and safety while at the same time preserving access to the justice system. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of transition.