By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Local courts scale back operations

The coronavirus outbreak is forcing the Yamhill County Circuit and Municipal Courts to reduce operations.

Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters ordered counties to provide only essential services, according to Presiding Yamhill County Judge Cynthia Easterday.

“The goal is to go from four courtrooms operating to one, and then we can send a greater number of employees home as well,” Easterday said. “We have already sent home employees in the high-risk category.”

Courtrooms staffed by judges John Collins, Easterday and Ladd Wiles had no civil or criminal caseloads Thursday. Proceedings were taking place only in Judge Jennifer Chapman’s courtroom.

Judges and staff are talking daily with the statewide judicial department to implement the chief justice’s order. “We will be trying to implement rotating essential employees as well by considering reducing in-person hours to the public,” Easterday said.

Judges and their staffs have the ability to receive emails and phone calls, and are trying to do the majority of court hearings by video or telephone, she said.
McMinnville Municipal Court is postponing all court appearances until May 6. The court will be available by email, mail or phone to address concerns or reschedule court appearances.

Individuals on a municipal court jury panel are relieved of duties through May 6. All jurors 60 years or older with a compromised health condition and those caring for loved ones with similar conditions are relieved of duty upon request.

Pending traffic violation appearances and pleas may be handled without the need for an in-person appearance through the Municipal Court Violations Bureau. Contact the municipal court at 503-434-7402 for information.

Payments by check may be mailed to municipal court at 230 N.E. Second St., McMinnville, Oregon, 97128, or left in the city hall night drop box. Payments may be made by credit card via the phone.

No delinquent accounts will be sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles for suspension or to collections for the next 60 days.

Questions about contract options for addressing any fines may be addressed to municipal court by email at municipalcourt@mcminnvilleoregon.gov, or by mail or phone.

Newberg Municipal Court appearances for March 24 and 31 will be rescheduled.

Citations are not being dismissed. Appearances are only being rescheduled.

The court can be contacted at 503-537-1241 or by email at wendy.looney@newbergoregon.gov.

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