The statewide “stay at home” ordered issued by Gov. Kelly on March 17 has created many ripple effects, including citations and court cases.
Both Edgerton and Gardner have postponed municipal court dates.
In Edgerton, which usually has 50 about cases per month, court was cancelled for both March and April, and cases were continued thru May.
“Court was canceled in both March and April, and all of those cases continued until May,” said Kara Banks, Edgerton public information officer. “Right now, there are about 80 cases that will go before the judge in May.”
Edgerton does not use a virtual (online) court, but Banks said if court can’t resume in May it is an option that will be explored. The Edgerton court clerk has notified all defendants via mail regarding postponement, and anyone that calls has been notified.
There is a bright side, however, Banks said with the stay at home order in place, fewer citations are being issued.
The number of municipal court cases have also dropped in Gardner. Over the last five years, Gardner has averaged about 360 new cases per month, but for 2020 the average new cases processed is 295 per month, according to Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, public information officer.
Gardner Municipal Court postponed two of the March, and all the April, court dates to June and July court dockets, Marshall-Oquendo said. New citations are being issued with court dates for August 2020. For those defendants who had court dates that have been rescheduled, a letter was mailed with the new court date, and defendants can also access citations online at www.gardnerkansas.gov
“Even though the Justice Center is not open to the public, our municipal court system is still working for the rights of our citizens. Once opened, public health will be our primary concern, and we will put into place all mandated requirements to ensure a safe environment,” said Robin Lewis, Gardner judge.
Currently we are not holding “virtual” court, but we are still in the process of determining if we need to implement ”virtual” trial dockets, and if so, how will that work if we are unable to hold court in the coming months, Marshall-Oquendo said.
Municipal court staff is available to assist anyone who can resolve their citation over the phone or through the electronic system, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Municipal court staff can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or 913-856-0904.
“We are here for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding municipal court issues,” said Amy Foster, business services manager.