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Thu, Oct. 22

Column | Court perspective: Mohave County Superior Court perseveres through pandemic

In much of the United States, courts shut down completely in the middle of March due to COVID-19. However, the courts in Arizona have made it a priority to provide to the public as many of our usual services as possible. Especially, in Mohave County, the judges and court staff are committed to assuring that every person involved in the court system receives an efficient, fair and just outcome. For that reason, our judges and court staff have worked tirelessly to make sure that court proceedings have been able to continue. In fact, the Mohave County Superior Court never shut down; it has remained open this entire year. Admittedly, some proceedings were unable to take place for a while, but we were still able to hold many types of hearings. Our IT department has worked hard to make court hearings available through teleconferencing and Zoom videoconferencing. In fact, for many people, court proceedings have been easier than ever to participate in. In the past, many hearings required in-person participation. While that is still the case for certain hearings, the increased use of teleconferencing and videoconferencing has made it possible for many people to attend court remotely who were unable to do so before. For many types of hearings, this has made appearing in the Mohave County Superior Court more convenient than ever.

Even though criminal jury trials were postponed for a few months, the Superior Court resumed jury trials in June. The Mohave County Superior Court was one of the first courts in the State of Arizona to restart holding jury trials. We have even allowed many jurors to appear by Zoom videoconferencing during jury selection. With a few exceptions, all court proceedings that were taking place before March 2020 are happening now. In other words, if you need to use the services provided in the Mohave County Superior Court, they are available to you!

In case you are worried about your health being affected by attending court, we have implemented social distancing and face mask requirements to assure the health of everyone who participates in court proceedings. We have also installed plexiglass to protect witnesses, jurors and court staff. The Mohave County Superior Court is doing everything in its power to provide the public the best services available in a safe and efficient manner during these challenging times.

(Doug Camacho is Judge Pro Tempore of the Mohave County Superior Court.)

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