COVID-19 Juvenile Court Changes

ORANGE
For Additional information Contact:
Chad Connors at 360-577-3085 or

For Immediate Release

March 17, 2020

Cowlitz County Superior Court understands many people are concerned about the COVID-19 virus. We are working to make good decisions that protect the public and staff and afford access to the court.We will continue to follow guidance from the Cowlitz County Health Department to help protect people's health.

The following is a detailed list of modifications/changes to services in Juvenile Court (probation) and Juvenile Detention:

Juvenile Court/Probation:

  • Dependency Dockets will be handled as follows:
  • All non-emergency hearings shall be stricken and continued to an available court date after June 1, 2020.
  • All emergency hearings shall remain as currently scheduled but only heard telephonically through CourtCall, or other electronic communication approved by the Court.

Truancy Dockets

  • All dockets and fact findings shall be cancelled until after June 19, 2020.
  • The local school district should work with juvenile court officials to schedule new dates.

Juvenile Criminal Dockets and Fact Findings

  • All non-emergency criminal motions shall be stricken and renoted by the requesting party, to a court date after May 1, 2020.
  • Currently scheduled juvenile criminal trials will be assigned a new trial date at the currently scheduled Readiness docket for a date after May 4, 2020.
  • All first appearances and arraignments shall occur as currently, or subsequently scheduled.
  • SAFE Court/ITC Court will only require attendance from those not currently in compliance.Those youth required to attend will be asked not to bring friends, or family to court with them.

Juvenile At-Risk Youth (ARY) Dockets

  • All ARY cases of a non-emergency nature will be stricken and renoted by the requesting party to a date after June 1, 2020.
  • Any emergency hearing can remain as currently schedule, but shall be by telephonic or through CourtCall.
  • All ARY fact findings set prior to June 1, 2020 shall be cancelled and reset to a regular docket after June 1, 2020.

Child in Need of Services Cases (CHINS)

The CHINS cases will be handled in the same manner as the dependency cases.

For more detailed information concerning court operations and dockets, please see our website at https://www.cowlitzsuperiorcourt.us/ and review Emergency order no. 1 and Emergency order 2.

Additional Operational Changes:

  • The main office at juvenile court/probation will not accept walk in appoints for probation meetings.All contact with probation staff and office staff should be conducted over the phone by calling (360) 577-3100.
  • All diversion appointments and group meetings will be cancelled and re-scheduled by probation staff.
  • Court filings are still being accepted.
  • The main office will not be accepting in-person payments for court costs, fees and restitution.Checks and Money Orders can be mailed to the Juvenile Court at 1725 1st Avenue, Longview WA 98632.

Juvenile Detention Center Operations:

  • Effective immediately, all family visitation with residents will be cancelled. Youth may contact their families via the phones provided in detention.
  • Mental health counselors that are pre-approved to meet with a resident will be allowed "no-contact" visits and require screening to include a temperature check prior to admission.Phone contact with the residents is preferred.
  • Attorneys will be allowed "no-contact" visits with clients and subject to screening prior to entry into the facility.Phone contact with residents is preferred.
  • All juvenile work crew activities are cancelled immediately.

Any changes to court hours or limiting of proceedings will be provided in future press releases. These press releases can be found on the Court websites (see below) and distributed to local media.

Employees and court participants should follow the recommendations from Cowlitz County Health Department offices while at court facilities:

Increase handwashing and use of alcohol-based sanitizer

Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette – cover a cough or a sneeze

Keep distance from others (more than six feet, if possible)

Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces

Remain home during a respiratory illness

We are requiring all those that have court to appear via CourtCall or other approved telephonic method, with the exception of first appearance and arraignment hearings.

You can reach the youth services center by calling (360) 577-3100 or obtain additional information by going to our website at:https://www.cowlitzsuperiorcourt.us/juvenile

A Washington call center can answer questions about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), how it spreads and what to do if you have symptoms.Call 1-800-525-0127 and press #. 

You can download a copy of this press release from our COVID INFORMATION CENTER

COVID-19 Emergency Order No 2
COVID-19 Emergency Order No 1

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.cowlitzsuperiorcourt.us/

TELEPHONE: (360) 577-3085
TTY (800) 883-6388 OR 7115

HALL OF JUSTICE
312 SW FIRST AVENUE
KELSO, WA 98626
 
Building Hours - 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM