MANSFIELD -- Mansfield Municipal Court's judges have instituted temporary changes in court operations due to COVID-19, seeking to minimize the number of people coming to court.
"A modification of the Mansfield Municipal Court’s schedule and daily operations is needed to protect the public while maintaining essential court functions and protecting the rights of all individuals subject to the authority of the Court," judges Jerry Ault and Frank Ardis said in an order issued today.
-- access to the courtrooms for all appearances and hearings are limited to attorneys, defendants, victims, victim’s advocates, parties, witnesses, and jurors.
-- Anyone making payments to the court shall be granted limited access to the lobby. However, individuals are strongly encouraged to make payments online and/or by phone.
-- The Court will continue to see the majority of prisoners via video conferencing unless the right to confrontation or other Constitutional rights require appearance in person.
-- Criminal and traffic arraignments will proceed as scheduled with the use of social distancing and cleaning efforts to minimize health risks to those appearing.
-- Criminal pretrial conferences may be conducted by phone. Criminal final pretrial conferences may also be conducted by phone.
-- Civil pretrial, status conferences, mediations, and settlement conferences may be conducted by phone. Hearings regarding motions for default judgment and summary judgment will be non-oral only. As such, parties shall be given the opportunity to file supplemental information they want considered by the Court on or before the scheduled hearing date and time. Personal appearance is not required and will not be permitted.
-- Evictions may be filed with the Clerk of Courts. Hearing dates on evictions will be determined by the Clerk with oversight of the Court.
-- The performance of weddings in the Mansfield Municipal Court is indefinitely suspended.
-- The public health emergency may be considered to be a finding of “just cause” for continuances deemed necessary on a case-by-case basis.
-- The Court will have the lawful authority, within constitutional limits, to do and direct to be done all things necessary to ensure the orderly and efficient administration of justice for the duration of the declared public health emergency.
Defendants in criminal/traffic cases can also take steps to eliminate or postpone their next court appearance through the following steps:
-- Filing Documents: While the Court will continue to accept filings at the window, it also accepts filing by email, facsimile, and mail. Written Not Guilty pleas and Time Waivers will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. The Clerk has a form available for use.
-- The Court’s email address is clerkfilings@,ci.mansfield.oh.us
-- The Court’s facsimile number is 419-755-9894.
-- The Court’s mailing address is P.O. Box 1228, Mansfield, OH 44901.
If possible, the Court encourages individuals to file documents by email, facsimile, or by mail instead of filing at the window.
-- Telephonic Payments: The Court accepts payments via phone for payment plan obligations. Individuals may call 419-755-9644.
Online Payments: The Court accepts online payments through the Court’s website at www.mansfieldpmts.com.
The Court is continuously assessing the situation to determine if additional precautions are necessary. This temporary order shall remain in effect until further order of the Court.