Southern District courthouses opening to additional selected individuals

Additional individuals will now be allowed to enter federal courthouses under specific circumstances, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has announced.

The district court’s Wednesday order signed by Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson amends previous orders handed down on March 18 and March 20. Those orders closed to the public the Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Evansville and New Albany courthouses in light of the rapidly evolving situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. They also specifically provided that court interpreters could continue to enter courthouses for scheduled proceedings, as well as commercial package couriers with appropriate identification.

Under amendments issued in the May 20 order, individuals under supervision by the U.S. Probation Office will now be permitted to report to courthouses for specific supervision activities such as drug testing as directed by the office. Those individuals will be escorted at all times by probation personnel and briefly seen by a probation officer to complete only the specific supervision activities required, the order says.

Additionally, individuals such as vendors will be allowed to enter courthouses when necessary for continued court operations on an as-needed basis, escorted by court staff at all times.

People required to participate in scheduled court proceedings will also be permitted to enter courthouses. However, court staff must be given sufficient notice that an individual intends to participate in a proceeding to allow court staff to make the necessary arrangements to permit courthouse access.

Court staff or the relevant party will escort such individuals to and from the proceeding, according to the order.

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