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Shawnee Co. Courts pause in-person inmate hearings due to COVID outbreak

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 1:47 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A recent COVID-19 outbreak inside the Shawnee Co. Jail has put a halt to most in person hearings at the Shawnee Co. Courthouse.

Court officials with the 3rd Judicial District say Chief Judge Anderson issued the Sept. 10, 2021.

It says the court will “suspend the requirement for transport of all inmates by the Shawnee Co. Dept. of Corrections to the Shawnee Co. Courthouse for appearance in-person in any scheduled hearings or proceedings, other than jury trials.”

As a result, most appearances for inmates will be held via video conference, or rescheduled.

Felony jury trials will be allowed to proceed at the discretion of the presiding judge if both parties can agree on times, and if the inmate tests negative for COVID-19.

The court says the inmate on trial would also have to take a COVID-19 test every-other day, and remain separated from the general population of inmates at the jail.

The changes come after at least three modules at the Shawnee Co. Jail deal with COVID-19 outbreaks.

A spokesperson says it’s business as usual for those who are not incarcerated.

The order is set to expire at the close of business on October 1, 2021.

Read the full order here.

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