St. Joseph County Facilities, Courts to be Closed to Public

In a press release Tuesday, the St. Joseph County staff announced the Historic Courthouse building will be closed to the public beginning November 18 and continuing through December 8, 2020. The closure comes following a COVID-19 related order issued Sunday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS order is in response to a statewide spike in COVID-19 cases that began several weeks ago.

According to Tuesday’s county press release, “most services can be accomplished online, by phone, or email. Departments will still be staffed during regular business hours.” Staff advise members of the public to check individual department pages on the county website for additional information, including hours of operation.

In a previous announcement last week, the county’s courts announced the suspension of all jury trials for the remainder of the year in accordance with restrictions and pandemic ratings issued by the statewide courts system. In an unrelated announcement, the 45th Circuit Court said this morning part of the system that it is temporarily unable to broadcast hearings due to a hardware failure and will thus be rescheduling appearances that were scheduled over the next two days. A replacement part is expected to arrive Thursday.

Dave Vago is a writer and columnist for Watershed Voice. A Philadelphia native with roots in Three Rivers, Vago is a planning consultant to history and community development organizations and is the former Executive Director of the Three Rivers DDA/Main Street program.