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|Posted on March 22, 2020 at 5:05 PM||comments (4)|
CONTINUING RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS CRISIS
BY Judge Cox, retired.
March 22, 2020. 5:00 PM
As all of us know the Corona Virus Crisis is forcing all of us to change our regular behaviors and implement emergency procedures to protect each other from the exposure to the rapidly spreading virus.
Today I read the Ohio Supreme Court’s advisory to all local courts and judges which encourages the use of video conferencing for hearings in the Courts to limit physical appearances by our citizens. Ohio Governor Dewine has issued a “stay at home” order similar to several other states. This orders takes effect Monday the 23 at midnight.
Today I have implemented new technological procedures to conduct final dissolution and agreed divorce hearings via video conferencing so that the parties in the case, the attorneys, and myself can safely participate in and conclude these matters from the safety of our own homes.
I am using a website called Zoom.com to organize hearings via the internet. Zoom.com will require my office to schedule hearings for specific times and will require that we email you and your client the contact number and access code to permit you and your client to access the meeting via video by phoning in from a cell phone or by using a laptop or home computer.
The hearing will be recorded just as if I were present in person and it will be stored in my computer.
Given this technology it is possible to link as many people as we need to the meeting and all will be heard and seen.
You will email me the final decrees and other final entries that need signed which I will sign at the hearing and email back to you for filing in the appropriate court.
I am encouraging ALL of us to use this technology to give all of us a measure of protection from the spread of the Virus. I think most of your clients will be pleasantly surprised and grateful that they can participate from their homes where they are either working or sheltering in place and still resolve their dissolution or agreed divorce case.
Given any new procedure even under this emergency; I realize that some of your clients may desire a face to face hearing instead of a video hearing but those hearings may have to be postponed. I will deal with those who object to a video hearing on a case by case basis and will more than likely have to move them to a different date. I think that given the threat we face a video hearing is now the new normal.
I have made this announcement several days ahead of this week’s scheduled hearings to allow You and your clients time to adjust and understand this option.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU CONTACT US TO CONFIRM YOUR DAY AND TIME!!
Each of you will receive an email from me containing the meeting number or website to connect and the meeting access code along with the time of your scheduled meeting. You will also receive my personal email address and instructions as to how to label your email to me so I can identity it from the 100’s of emails I receive every day.
This is a terrible crisis of yet unknown proportions. We can only make it through this period in our history if we all work together to work smarter and stay safe. It is my desire that my cases continue to be processed as quickly as is legally possible so that the parties can get on with their lives. But difficult and anxious times require innovative approaches by those of us in the legal community to help the people we serve.
Please email your questions to myself or Mary or Sharon so we can deal with your questions timely and efficiently.
I am looking forward to using this new technology and helping in the fight against the spread of the Corona Virus.
Donald Andrew Cox
|Posted on March 14, 2020 at 10:51 AM||comments (1)|
JUDICIAL ALTERNATIVES & PRIVATE JUDGE COX’S RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
March 14, 2020
During this unprecedented public health crisis and national emergency I am personally committed to continuing to provide private hearing services and mediation services for anyone who requests our services in any of the counties we have served for many years.
During this time we will be hearing cases that are filed in any of the counties that we cover provided that the Court in which they are filed signs the necessary transfer Order to me and you provide me with a copy of that filed Order.
In the event that a Court is not signing transfer orders because of this emergency; then in the case of dissolutions you should file them in my old home county of Gallia and they will immediately be processed by the Gallia County Clerk of Court and referred to me for hearing. Cases other than dissolutions will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
It is important that we observe best health practices at any of our private hearings; so I encourage parties and attorneys to maintain safe distance, not shake hands, and to wear any protective devices they deem appropriate including face masks and plastic gloves. It is imperative that no one who is sick or has been exposed to the virus appear in person at any of my hearings. You must contact my office directly for instructions if one of the parties or attorneys are sick or have been exposed to determine how to use electronic means to secure their appearance.
We can all make it through this very difficult time in our history if we use our common sense, stay calm and use best health practices in living our lives.
As always I or Sharon or Mary are always willing to answer any questions you may have and help you through this time of uncertainty. Our phone numbers are available at our website www.privatejudgedonaldcox.com. Please do not hesitate to call us if you need help or have questions.
It is my profound honor to serve you in this time of crisis and chaos and I will be praying for a quick and full recovery from this viral attack upon our very way of life.