GENESEE COUNTY, MI — An increase in COVID-19 cases has led to a temporary alteration in hearings for Genesee County Circuit and Probate courts.
Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 11, in-person proceedings in the circuit and probate courts are suspended through the end of the year.
The decision came after a review of health data by Chief Judge Duncan M. Beagle and court administrative staff and conversations with judicial leadership.
“I am satisfied this is the correct and responsible action to take at this time, said Beagle in a prepared statement. “The judges and staff of the Courts are working every day in an attempt to respond in a timely manner to the cases that are filed with the Courts. The pandemic is a factor that we are forced to respect out of concern for the health, safety, and welfare of the community.”
Genesee County hit a new record high of COVID-19 cases on Nov. 7 at 288, breaking the previous high of 166 cases set three days earlier, according to figures provided by the Genesee County Health Department.
A total of 7,697 COVID-19 cases have been reported since March in Genesee County, with 329 deaths.
Flint has reported the most cases for any municipality in the county at 1,418, followed by Grand Blanc Township at 986 cases, Flint Township at 668 cases, 532 cases in Burton, and 373 cases in Fenton Township.
After completing two jury trials when restrictions were lifted in September, those proceedings have also been halted in consultation with the Genesee County Health Department and guidance from the State Court Administrative Office.
Related: Jury trials resume in Genesee County with COVID-19 safety measures in place
The courts will remain open and hearings will continue via Zoom. Individual judicial offices will be the contact for questions regarding scheduling for specific cases.
Additional information on Genesee County Probate Court can be found at gcprobatecourt.com. The Genesee County Circuit Court website containing information on new filings is available at 7thcircuitcourt.com.
The courthouse will remain open for other business that requires an appointment to receive services.
Genesee County District Court also moved all their hearings to Zoom beginning Tuesday through Nov. 30.
Related: Genesee County District Court moves all hearings to Zoom as COVID-19 cases surge
The decision was made following Davison and Grand Blanc district court buildings were closed Nov. 5 after an employee at each facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Given the short notice, a district court statement points out that “parties appearing in-person will be given information on how to appear remotely.”
Those with scheduled hearings are urged to the contact their local court location to get the correct judge’s Zoom address to log in.
Related: Davison, Grand Blanc district courts closed after employees test positive for coronavirus
While the hearings are moved to Zoom, the district court buildings — except for Davison and Grand Blanc at this time — will remain open to the public for court business such as payments and filings.
Anyone seeking additional information has been asked to contact the court at 810-766-8968 or online at www.67thdc.com.