FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Leaders of the Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) expressed concerns over the upcoming scheduled return to open court proceedings, saying it may be too soon as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Once the pandemic hit, most criminal court proceedings were suspended to try to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
In mid-May, the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an order that trial courts in June could resume hearing civil and criminal matters using available telephonic and video technology to conduct proceedings remotely.
In the days since the order was issued, some trial courts announced intentions to resume hearings as early as June 1 with people physically in the courtroom, not remotely as ordered by the Supreme Court.
The DPA is worried about that could mean for the health of its public defenders across the state as well as others in the court system.
If someone can’t or doesn’t take part in a video hearing, the DPA believes in-person hearings should be scheduled for August or later.