Bay County Courthouse operations during COVID-19

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:56 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -

It’s been about five months since the Bay County Courthouse closed its doors to the public. Chief Judge Christopher Patterson said they’re staying in close contact with the health department, but Bay County’s COVID-19 numbers have not dropped low enough for the courthouse to reopen.

The circuit entered phase one in March by closing down all courthouses in the circuit’s six counties. Three of the six-county courthouses temporarily reopened for limited in-person hearings, but just last week closed again following an increase in COVID cases.

At the Bay County Courthouse Patterson said they’ve been able to conduct some court hearings online, however, the courthouse still cannot conduct jury trials. ”The chief justice of the Supreme Court is going to approve when we can do jury trials here. Victims are still appearing by Zoom at those particular hearings as well and they are in contact, obviously, with their victim advocates. But for now, that resolution is not happening,” he said.

The clerk of court office is still open for limited access. So if you need to drop off documents like a ticket payment, you can find a dropbox outside the Bay County Courthouse building to do so.

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