Thursday, 25 February 2021
Supreme Court issues orders allowing courts to begin easing COVID-19 restrictions
Kentucky’s vaccine distribution schedule moves to Phase 1C on March 1
As Kentucky begins to see its COVID-19 cases decline and its rate of vaccinations increase, the Supreme Court has amended two orders to allow courts to begin easing restrictions on in-person access. Administrative Order 2021-06 replaces Administrative Order 2021-01 in its entirety and Administrative Order 2021-07 replaces Administrative Order 2021-02 in its entirety. Both orders are effective April 1, 2021.
Here is a brief overview of the amendments:
Administrative Order 2021-06: Health and Safety Requirements
- Includes jurors in the list of individuals permitted into a court facility.
- Allows judges to schedule individual cases for in-person hearings effective May 1, 2021.
- Extends the date for mail-in renewal driver’s licenses to June 30, 2021, per Transportation Cabinet Order 112400.
- Ends 50/50 staffing and Special Leave effective May 1, 2021.
- Authorizes teleworking to continue.
- Extends the date for Kentucky Court of Justice committees to meet in-person to May 1, 2021.
Administrative Order 2021-07: Court Proceedings
- Extends the date to begin jury trials to May 1, 2021.
- Allows grand juries to proceed on April 1, 2021.
- Clarifies the extension of the 60-day rule under RCr 5.22(3).
- Eliminates reference to the CARES Act and removes the requirement for the AOC 1027 Form in eviction filings.
- Refers to the eviction moratorium in the CDC Order and the Healthy at Home rental assistance program.
- Extends the date to begin judicial sales to May 1, 2021.
- Extends the date to begin show cause hearings for nonpayment to July 1, 2021.
Vaccine Update: Phase 1C Begins March 1
Gov. Beshear has designated KCOJ personnel as Phase 1C essential workers and he announced Feb. 23 that regional vaccination sites will begin accepting Phase 1C appointments on March 1.
You can find out when you’re eligible for a vaccination and sign up for notifications through the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Survey. You should answer “Legal” to the question “Do you currently work or volunteer full- or part-time in any of the following?” to denote that you are an essential employee for the court system. You will also be asked your age and if you have any high-risk medical conditions. Depending on those factors, you may be eligible for the vaccine sooner than allowed by your 1C essential worker status.
As we announced earlier, the Supreme Court has authorized two hours of paid leave for each dose of the vaccine for all KCOJ employees who receive a vaccination during their regular work hours. You can learn when an employee is eligible to claim this leave in Administrative Order 2121-03. In addition, Administrative Order 2121-03 states that high-risk work alternatives and Special Emergency Directed Leave will no longer be authorized once both doses of the vaccine are available to KCOJ employees.
We started our pandemic journey nearly a year ago and I could not be more proud of how you have handled these extraordinary circumstances. Better days are ahead and we will keep working together as we return to more normal times.