District Court limits operations in response to coronavirus

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District Court of Guam (PNC file photo)

Chief District Court Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood has issued an order limiting operations at the District Court of Guam through April 3, at least.

In her order, she notes that President Trump and Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero have declared health emergencies and the Centers for Disease Control have advised all jurisdictions to limit social gatherings to less than 50 people.

“The Court has weighed the right of the public to open access to the court,” states the Judge in her order, “against the need to protect the safety of the public, including the health of all those entering and working in the court.”

The Court, therefore, Orders the following:

Temporary Closure to the Public

*The District Court of Guam will be temporarily closed to the public for a period of 14 days commencing Friday, March 20, through April 3, except as stated below.

*The U.S. Pretrial and Probation Office will also be closed for the next 14 days commencing Friday, March 20 through Friday, April 3. If you need assistance, please call (671) 969-4600.

Limited entry into the District Court of Guam

*Persons who have traveled outside the island of Guam within the previous 14 days

*Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with, COVID-19

*Persons who, because of COVID-19, have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency

*Persons who are ill and displaying symptoms consistent with a flu, such as fever, body aches, and shortness of breath

Notice of these entry protocols will be posted at the front and back entrance doors of the Courthouse. Individuals prevented from entering the building will be provided contact information of the Court and all tenants of the courthouse so that they may attempt to conduct their business by phone.

Anyone attempting to enter in violation of these protocols will be denied entry by a Court Security Officer.

MEDIA ACCESS TO THE COURT

The Court recognizes the Constitutional right of the media to access court proceedings on behalf of the public. Therefore, members of the media who wish to monitor a court proceeding telephonically may contact Chief Deputy Clerk, Charles White, at 988-9031 at least one hour before the scheduled hearing. Mr. White will provide instruction for allowing telephone access on a secure line, at no cost, to listen to the hearing with all other court rules in effect including the standing prohibition on audio recording.

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