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FORT SMITH -- The operation of Sebastian County Circuit Court, Fort Smith District Court and Greenwood District Court has been adjusted because of the coronavirus.

The adjustments were made after consultation with public health officials, according to a news release from Sebastian County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Tabor.

Effective immediately, only essential court hearings will take place at the Sebastian County Courts Building and Greenwood Courthouse, a practice which will continue through May 1.

In this case, the list of essential court is as follows:

CIRCUIT COURT

Arraignments of incarcerated defendants.

Juvenile Court detention hearings.

Dependency Neglect Probable Cause hearings.

Ex Parte Orders.

Protective Orders.

Mental Illness Commitments.

FORT SMITH DISTRICT COURT

Arraignments of incarcerated defendants.

GREENWOOD DISTRICT COURT

Arraignments of incarcerated defendants.

Civil cases that may be heard via telephone conference may proceed with coordination through the presiding judge's office, the release states. Agreed Orders may still be submitted, and uncontested divorces may be submitted by interrogatories or affidavit. All other matters set for hearing or trial on or before May 1 will be rescheduled. Residents are asked to handle filings and other business with the circuit clerk, district clerk and the courts by fax, email or telephone as much as possible.

In addition, those paying fines or restitution to district court or through the prosecuting attorney's office are encouraged to do so online or by mail. Those appearing in person to pay will be directed to make payments using those methods until normal business resumes.

The circuit clerk's office will also waive any fees associated with the fax filing of pleadings until May 1. New case filings are asked be mailed to either 901 S. B St., Suite 205 or P.O. Box 1179, Fort Smith, AR 72902, to reduce the number of people coming into the Courts Building.

NW News on 03/23/2020

Print Headline: Changes set in Sebastian County courts

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