(STOW, OHIO) The Stow Municipal Court has been closely monitoring reports from the public health authorities regarding the continued spread of COVID-19. In an effort to help mitigate the surging public health risks and comply with advisories from the Governor’s office and the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Stow Municipal Court will be making the following operational adjustments effective Monday, November 2, 2020:
1. Virtual Hearings: To the extent possible, all hearings, including criminal and traffic arraignments, will be held virtually via Zoom, Skype or the Polycom video conferencing terminals at the local jails. Defendants and attorneys are directed to stowmunicourt.com for case information and scheduling. All parties are encouraged to utilize the online tools provided to pay fines and court costs, plead not guilty, register for virtual hearings, apply for the Safe Driver’s Program, and / or request a hearing be continued to a later date.
In person hearings will not be held without prior approval of a judge or magistrate.
2. Scheduling: All previously scheduled criminal and traffic hearings will continue as originally scheduled, but will take place virtually or by phone, unless parties are directed otherwise by court staff. Attorneys and Defendants are encouraged to refer the online docket that is accessible through the Court’s website for information regarding upcoming hearings. All parties are expected to be available and participate in hearings as they are scheduled. Efforts will be made to accommodate any technological limitations or special circumstances to the extent that it is possible. Attorneys are encouraged to contact the assigned judge’s bailiff prior to a scheduled appearance.
3. Community Control: Defendants who under the supervision of the Community Control Department are to continue to follow the directives of their assigned officer(s) regarding reporting requirements and meetings. Defendants who have been ordered to participate in educational or treatment programs are still expected to attend as directed by their service provider or community control officer.
4. Clerk of Courts Office: The Clerk of Courts office remains open to accept case filings, pleadings, and for the payment of fines and court costs. All parties are encouraged to utilize the e-filing and e-payment tools that are available on the Court’s website in lieu of personally appearing at the courthouse. Questions regarding e-filing and payments of fines and costs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 564-4149.
These operational changes will remain in effect indefinitely. Judges Hoover and Coates and the court administration will continue to work with state and local officials and public health agencies to help keep court staff and the public safe during these extraordinary times. Additional updates will be provided as this situation continues to evolve.